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The papers contained in this little volume 
were written by Charles Dickens for the 
early numbers of " Bentley's Miscellany." 
The manuscripts of the two meetings of the 
Mudfog Association, and of " Mr. Robert 
Bolton, the gentleman connected with the 
Press/' in my possession, are covered with 
corrections, erasures, and additions. At that 
time Charles Dickens wrote a freer and 
bolder hand than he came to write in later 
years, and these manuscripts are easily 



Something perhaps of the comparative 
freedom of the handwriting of these sketches, 
when set by the side of the manuscript of 
" Our Mutual Friend," may be owing to the 
quill pen, with whose exit has gone out much 
of that free and graceful penmanship of 
which Mr. Lupton reminds us that Thomas 
Tomkins, of St. Paul's School, was so un- 
rivalled a teacher. 


New Burlington Street, 
July 26th, 



Mudfog is a pleasant town — a remarkably 
pleasant town — situated in a charming hollow 
by the side of a river, from which river, Mud- 
fog derives an agreeable scent of pitch, tar, 
coals, and rope-yarn, a roving population in 
oil-skin hats, a pretty steady influx of drunken 
bargemen, and a great many other maritime 
advantages. There is a good deal of water 
about Mudfog, and yet it is not exactly the 
sort of town for a watering-place, either. 
Water is a perverse sort of element at the 
best of times, and in Mudfog it is particu- 
larly so. In winter, it comes oozing down 


2 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

the streets and tumbling over the fields, — nay, 
rushes, into the very cellars and kitchens of 
the houses, -.villi a lavish prodigality that 
might well be dispensed with ; but in the hot 
summer weather it will dry up, and turn 
green : and, although green is a very good 
colour in its way, especially in grass, still it 
certainly is not becoming to water ; and it 
cannot be denied that the beauty of Mudfog 
is rather impaired, even by this trifling cir- 
cumstance. Mudfog is a healthy place — very 
healthy ; — damp, perhaps, but none the worse 
for that. It's quite a mistake to suppose that 
damp is unwholesome : plants thrive best in 
damp situations, and why shouldn't men ? 
The inhabitants of Mudfog are unanimous in 
asserting that there exists not a finer race of 
people on the face of the earth ; here we 
have an indisputable and veracious contra- 
diction of the vulgar error at once. So, 
admitting Mudfog to be damp, we distinctly 
state that it is salubrious. 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrutnble. 3 

The town of Mudfog is extremely pic- 
turesque. Limehouse and Ratcliff Highway 
are both something like it, but they give you 
a very faint idea of Mudfog. There are a 
great many more public-houses in Mudfog — 
more than in Ratcliff Highway and Lime- 
house put together. The public buildings, 
too, are very imposing. We consider the 
town-hall one of the finest specimens of 
shed architecture, extant : it is a combination 
of the pig-sty and tea-garden-box, orders ; 
and the simplicity of its design is of sur- 
passing beauty. The idea of placing a large 
window on one side of the door, and a 
small one on the other, is particularly happy. 
There is a fine bold Doric beauty, too, about 
the padlock and scraper, which is strictly in 
keeping with the general effect. 

In this room do the mayor and corpora- 
tion of Mudfog assemble together in solemn 
council for the public weal. Seated on the 
massive wooden benches, which, with the 

4 Public Life of Mr. Titlrumble. 

table in the centre, form the only furniture of 
the whitewashed apartment, the sage men of 
Mudfog spend hour after hour in grave de- 
liberation. Here they settle at what hour 
of the night the public-houses shall be closed, 
at what hour of the morning they shall be 
permitted to open, how soon it shall be law- 
ful for people to eat their dinner on church ■ 
days, and other great political questions ; and 
sometimes, long after silence has fallen on the 
town, and the distant lights from the shops 
and houses have ceased to twinkle, like far- 
off stars, to the sight of the boatmen on the 
river, the illumination in the two unequal- 
sized windows of the town-hall, warns the 
inhabitants of Mudfog that its little body of 
legislators, like a larger and better-known 
body of the same genus, a great deal more 
noisy, and not a whit more profound, are 
patriotically dozing away in company, far 
into the night, for their country's good. 

Among this knot of sage and learned 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 5 

men, no one was so eminently distinguished, 
during many years, for the quiet modesty of 
his appearance and demeanour, as Nicholas 
Tulrumble, the well-known coal-dealer. How- 
ever exciting the subject of discussion, how- 
ever animated the tone of the debate, or 
however warm the personalities exchanged, 
(and even in Mudfog we get personal some- 
times,) Nicholas Tulrumble was always the 
same. To say truth, Nicholas, being an 
industrious man, and always up betimes, was 
apt to fall asleep when a debate began, and 
to remain asleep till it was over, when he 
would wake up very much refreshed, and 
give his vote with the greatest complacency. 
The fact was, that Nicholas Tulrumble, know- 
ing that everybody there had made up his 
mind beforehand, considered the talking as 
just a long botheration about nothing at all ; 
and to the present hour it remains a question, 
whether, on this point at all events, Nicholas 
Tulrumble was not pretty near right. 

6 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

Time, which strews a man's head with 
silver, sometimes fills his pockets with gold. 
As he gradually performed one good office 
for Nicholas Tulrumble, he was obliging 
enough, not to omit the other. Nicholas 
began life in a wooden tenement of four feet 
square, with a capital of two and ninepence, 
and a stock in trade of three bushels and 
a-half of coals, exclusive of the large lump 
which hung, by way of sign-board, outside. 
Then he enlarged the shed, and kept a truck; 
then he left the shed, and the truck too, and 
started a donkey and a Mrs. Tulrumble ; then 
he moved again and set up a cart ; the cart 
was soon afterwards exchanged for a waggon ; 
and so he went on like his great predecessor 
Whittington — only without a cat for a partner 
— increasing in wealth and fame, until at last 
he gave up business altogether, and retired 
with Mrs. Tulrumble and family to Mudfog 
Hall, which he had himself erected, on some- 
thing which he attempted to delude himself 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 7 

into the belief was a hill, about a quarter of 
a mile distant from the town of Mudfog. 

About this time, it began to be murmured 
in Mudfog that Nicholas Tulrumble was 
growing vain and haughty ; that prosperity 
and success had corrupted the simplicity of 
his manners, and tainted the natural goodness 
of his heart ; in short, that he was setting up 
for a public character, and a great gentleman, 
and affected to look down upon his old com- 
panions with compassion and contempt. 
Whether these reports were at the time 
well-founded, or not, certain it is that Mrs. 
Tulrumble very shortly afterwards started a 
four-wheel chaise, driven by a tall postilion in 
a yellow cap, — that Mr. Tulrumble junior 
took to smoking cigars, and calling the foot- 
man a " feller/' — and that Mr. Tulrumble 
from that time forth, was no more seen in his 
old seat in the chimney-corner of the Lighter- 
man's Arms at night. This looked bad ; but, 
more than this, it began to be observed that 

8 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble attended the cor- 
poration meetings more frequently than here- 
tofore ; and he no longer went to sleep as he 
had done for so many years, but propped his 
eyelids open with his two fore-fingers ; that he 
read the newspapers by himself at home ; 
and that he was in the habit of indulging 
abroad in distant and mysterious allusions to 
" masses of people," and " the property of 
the country,'' and " productive power," and 
" the monied interest : " all of which denoted 
and proved that Nicholas Tulrumble was 
either mad, or worse ; and it puzzled the good 
people of Mudfog amazingly. 

At length, about the middle of the month 
of October, Mr. Tulrumble and family went 
up to London ; the middle of October being, 
as Mrs. Tulrumble informed her acquaintance 
in Mudfog, the very height of the fashionable 

Somehow or other, just about this time, 
despite the health-preserving air of Mudfog, 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 9 

the Mayor died. It was a most extraordinary 
circumstance ; he had lived in Mudfog for 
eighty-five years. The corporation didn't 
understand it at all ; indeed it was with great 
difficulty that one old gentleman, who was 
a great stickler for forms, was dissuaded from 
proposing a vote of censure on such unac- 
countable conduct. Strange as it was, how- 
ever, die he did, without taking the slightest 
notice of the corporation ; and the corporation 
were imperatively called upon to elect his 
successor. So, they met for the purpose ; 
and being very full of Nicholas Tulrumble 
just then, and Nicholas Tulrumble being a 
very important man, they elected him, and 
wrote off to London by the very next post to 
acquaint Nicholas Tulrumble with his new 

Now, it being November time, and Mr. 
Nicholas Tulrumble being in the capital, it 
fell out that he was present at the Lord 
Mayors show and dinner, at sight of the 

io Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

glory and splendour whereof, he, Mr. Tul- 
rumble, was greatly mortified, inasmuch as 
the reflection would force itself on his mind, 
that, had he been born in London instead of 
in Mudfog, he might have been a Lord Mayor 
too, and have patronized the judges, and been 
affable to the Lord Chancellor, and friendly 
with the Premier, and coldly condescending 
to the Secretary to the Treasury, and have 
dined with a flag behind his back, and done 
a great many other acts and deeds which 
unto Lord Mayors of London peculiarly 
appertain. The more he thought of the 
Lord Mayor, the more enviable a personage 
he seemed. To be a King was all very well; 
but what was the King to the Lord Mayor ! 
When the King made a speech, everybody 
knew it was somebody else's writing; whereas 
here was the Lord Mayor, talking away for 
half an hour — all out of his own head — amidst 
the enthusiastic applause of the whole com- 
pany, while it was notorious that the King 

Public Life of Mr. TiUrttmble. 1 1 

might talk to his parliament till he was black 
in the face without getting so much as a single 
cheer. As all these reflections passed through 
the mind of Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble, the 
Lord Mayor of London appeared to him the 
greatest sovereign on the face of the earth, 
beating the Emperor of Russia all to nothing, 
and leaving the Great Mogul immeasurably 

Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble was pondering 
over these things, and inwardly cursing the 
fate which had pitched his coal-shed in Mud- 
fog, when the letter of the corporation was put 
into his hand. A crimson flush mantled over 
his face as he read it, for visions of brightness 
were already dancing before his imagination. 

11 My dear," said Mr. Tulrumble to his 
wife, " they have elected me, Mayor of Mud- 

" Lor-a-mussy ! n said Mrs. Tulrumble : 
" why what's become of old Sniggs ? " 

" The late Mr. Sniggs, Mrs. Tulrumble, ,, 

12 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

said Mr. Tulrumble sharply, for he by no 
means approved of the notion of uncere- 
moniously designating a gentleman who filled 
the high office of Mayor, as " Old Sniggs," 
— " The late Mr. Sniggs, Mrs. Tulrumble, is 

The communication was very unexpected ; 
but Mrs. Tulrumble only ejaculated " Lor-a- 
mussy ! " once again, as if a Mayor were a 
"mere ordinary Christian, at which Mr. Tul- 
rumble frowned gloomily. 

" What a pity 'tan't in London, ain't it ? " 
said Mrs. Tulrumble, after a short pause ; 
" what a pity 'tan t in London, where you 
might have had a show." 

" I might have a show in Mudfog, if I 
thought proper, I apprehend," said Mr. Tul- 
rumble mysteriously. 

" Lor ! so you might, I declare," replied 
Mrs. Tulrumble. 

"And a good one too," said Mr. Tul- 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 1 3 

" Delightful ! " exclaimed Mrs. Tul- 

" One which would rather astonish the 
ignorant people down there/' said Mr. Tul- 

11 It would kill them with envy," said Mrs. 

So it was agreed that his Majesty's lieges 
in Mudfog should be astonished with splen- 
dour, and slaughtered with envy, and that' 
such a show should take place as had never 
been seen in that town, or in any other town 
before, — no, not even in London itself. 

On the very next day after the receipt of 
the letter, down came the tall postilion in a 
post-chaise, — not upon one of the horses, 
but inside — actually inside the chaise, — and, 
driving up to the very door of the town-hall, 
where the corporation were assembled, de- 
livered a letter, written by the Lord knows 
who, and signed by Nicholas Tulrumble, in 
which Nicholas said, all through four sides of 

14 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

closely-written, gilt-edged, hot-pressed, Bath 
post letter paper, that he responded to the 
call of his fellow-townsmen with feelings of 
heartfelt delight; that he accepted the arduous 
office which their confidence had imposed 
upon him ; that they would never find him 
shrinking from the discharge of his duty ; 
that he would endeavour to execute his func- 
tions with all that dignity which their magni- 
tude and importance demanded ; and a great 
more to the same effect. But even this was 
not all. The tall postilion produced from his 
right-hand top-boot, a damp copy of that 
afternoons number of the county paper ; and 
there, in large type, running the whole length 
of the very first column, was a long address 
from Nicholas Tulrumble to the inhabitants 
of Mudfog, in which he said that he cheer- 
fully complied with their requisition, and, in 
short, as if to prevent any mistake about the 
matter, told them over again what a grand 
fellow he meant to be, in very much the same 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 15 

terms as those in which he had already told 
them all about the matter in his letter. 

The corporation stared at one another 
very hard at all this, and then looked as if 
for explanation to the tall postilion, but as the 
tall postilion was intently contemplating the 
gold tassel on the top of his yellow cap, and 
could have afforded no explanation whatever, 
even if his thoughts had been entirely dis- 
engaged, they contented themselves with 
coughing very dubiously, and looking very 
grave. The tall postilion then delivered 
another letter, in which Nicholas Tulrumble 
informed the corporation, that he intended 
repairing to the town-hall, in grand state and 
gorgeous procession, on the Monday after- 
noon next ensuing. At this the corporation 
looked still more solemn ; but, as the epistle 
wound up with a formal invitation to the 
whole body to dine with the Mayor on that 
day, at Mudfog Hall, Mudfog Hill, Mudfog, 
they began to see the fun of the thing directly, 

1 6 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

and sent back their compliments, and they'd 
be sure to come. 

Now there happened to be in Mudfog, as 
somehow or other there does happen to be, 
in almost every town in the British dominions, 
and perhaps in foreign dominions too — we 
think it very likely, but, being no great 
traveller, cannot distinctly say — there hap- 
pened to be, in Mudfog, a merry-tempered, 
pleasant-faced, good-for-nothing sort of vaga- 
bond, with an invincible dislike to manual 
labour, and an unconquerable attachment to 
strong beer and spirits, whom everybody 
knew, and nobody, except his wife, took the 
trouble to quarrel with, who inherited from 
his ancestors the appellation of Edward 
Twigger, and rejoiced in the sobriquet of 
Bottle-nosed Ned. He was drunk upon the 
average once a day, and penitent upon an 
equally fair calculation once a month ; and 
when he was penitent, he was invariably in 
the very last stage of maudlin intoxication. 

Public Life of Mr. Ttilrumble. 17 

He was a ragged, roving, roaring kind of 
fellow, wi$i a burly form, a sharp wit, and a 
ready head, and could turn his hand to any- 
thing when he chose to do it. He was by no 
means opposed to hard labour on principle, 
for he would work away at a cricket-match 
by the day together, — running, and catching, 
and batting, and bowling, and revelling in 
toil which would exhaust a galley-slave. He 
would have been invaluable to a fire-office ; 
never was a man with such a natural taste 
for pumping engines, running up ladders, and 
throwing furniture out of two-pair-of-stairs 
windows : nor was this the only element in 
which he was at home ; he was a humane 
society in himself, a portable drag, an animated 
life-preserver, and had saved more people, 
in his time, from drowning, than the Plymouth 
life-boat, or Captain Manby's apparatus. 
With all these qualifications, notwithstanding 
his dissipation, Bottle-nosed Ned was a 
general favourite ; and the authorities of 

1 8 Ptiblic Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

Mudfog, remembering his numerous services 
to the population, allowed him in return to 
get drunk in his own way, without the fear 
of stocks, fine, or imprisonment. He had a 
general licence, and he showed his sense of 
the compliment by making the most of it. 

We have been thus particular in describing 
the Character and avocations of Bottle-nosed 
Ned, because it enables us to introduce a fact 
politely, without hauling it into the readers 
presence with indecent haste by the head and 
shoulders, and brings us very naturally to 
relate, that on the very same evening on 
which Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble and family 
returned to Mudfog, Mr. Tulrumble's new 
secretary, just imported from London, with a 
pale face and light whiskers, thrust his head 
down to the very bottom of his neckcloth-tie, 
in at the tap-room door of the Lighterman's 
Arms, and inquiring whether one Ned Twig- 
ger was luxuriating within, announced him- 
self as the bearer of a message from Nicholas 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 19 

Tulrumble, Esquire, requiring Mr. Twigger's 
immediate attendance at the hall, on private 
and particular business. It being by no 
means Mr. Twigger's interest to affront the 
Mayor, he rose from the fire-place with a 
slight sigh, and followed the light-whiskered 
secretary through the dirt and wet of Mud- 
fog streets, up to Mudfog Hall, without 
further ado. 

Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble was seated in a 
small cavern with a skylight, which he called 
his library, sketching out a plan of the pro- 
cession on a large sheet of paper; and 
into the cavern the secretary ushered Ned 

"Well, Twigger!" said Nicholas Tul- 
rumble, condescendingly. 

There was a time when Twigger 
would have replied, "Well, Nick!" but 
that was in the days of the truck, and a 
couple of years before the donkey ; so, he 
only bowed. 

20 Public Life of Mr. Ttdrumble. 

" I want you to go into training, Twigger," 
said Mr. Tulrumble. 

" What for, sir?" inquired Ned, with a 

" Hush, hush, Twigger ! " said the Mayor. 
" Shut the door, Mr. Jennings. Look here, 

As the Mayor said this, he unlocked a 
high closet, and disclosed a complete suit of 
brass armour, of gigantic dimensions. 

" I want you to wear this next Monday, 
Twigger," said the Mayor. 

" Bless your heart and soul, sir ! " replied 
Ned, " you might as well ask me to wear a 
seventy-four pounder, or a cast-iron boiler." 

" Nonsense, Twigger, nonsense ! " said 
the Mayor. 

" I couldn't stand under it, sir," said 
Twigger ; " it would make mashed potatoes 
of me, if 1 attempted it." 

" Pooh, pooh, Twigger ! " returned the 
Mayor. " I tell you I have seen it done 

Public Life of Mr, Tulrumble. 21 

with my own eyes, in London, and the man 
wasn't half such a man as you are, either." 

" I should as soon have thought of a 
man's wearing the case of an eight-day 
clock to save his linen," said Twigger, 
casting a look of apprehension at the brass 

" It's the easiest thing in the world," 
rejoined the Mayor. 

" It's nothing," said Mr. Jennings. 
"When you're used to it," added Ned. 
" You do it by degrees," said the Mayor. 
" You would begin with one piece to-morrow, 
and two the next day, and so on, till you had 
got it all on. Mr. Jennings, give Twigger 
a glass of rum. Just try the breast-plate, 
Twigger. Stay ; take another glass of rum 
first. Help me to lift it, Mr. Jennings. 
Stand firm, Twigger ! There ! — it isn't half 
as heavy as it looks, is it ? " 

Twigger was a good strong, stout fellow ; 
so, after a great deal of staggering, he 

22 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

managed to keep himself up, under the 
breast-plate, and even contrived, with the 
aid of another glass of rum, to walk about 
in it, and the gauntlets into the bargain. 
He made a trial of the helmet, but was not 
equally successful, inasmuch as he tipped 
over instantly, — an accident which Mr. 
Tulrumble clearly demonstrated to be occa- 
sioned by his not having a counteracting 
weight of brass on his legs. 

" Now, wear that with grace and pro- 
priety on Monday next," said Tulrumble, 
" and I'll make your fortune." 

"Til try what I can do, sir," said Twigger. 
" It must be kept a profound secret," 
said Tulrumble. 

" Of course, sir," replied Twigger. 
" And you must be sober," said Tul- 
rumble ; " perfectly sober." 

Mr. Twigger at once solemnly pledged 
himself to be as sober as a judge, and 
Nicholas Tulrumble was satisfied, although, 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 23 

had we been Nicholas, we should certainly 
have exacted some promise of a more specific 
nature ; inasmuch as, having attended the 
Mudfog assizes in the evening more than 
once, we can solemnly testify to having seen 
judges with very strong symptoms of dinner 
under their wigs. However, that's neither 
here nor there. 

The next day, and the day following, and 
the day after that, Ned Twigger was securely 
locked up in the small cavern with the sky- 
light, hard at work at the armour. With 
every additional piece he could manage to 
stand upright in, he had an additional glass 
of rum ; and at last, after many partial suf- 
focations, he contrived to get on the whole 
suit, and to stagger up and down the room 
in it, like an intoxicated effigy from West- 
minster Abbey. 

Never was man so delighted as Nicholas 
Tulrumble ; never was woman so charmed as 
Nicholas Tulrumble's wife. Here was a 

24 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

sight for the common people of Mudfog ! A 
live man in brass armour ! Why, they would 
go wild with wonder ! 

The day — the Monday — arrived. 

If the morning had been made to order, 
it couldn't have been better adapted to the 
purpose. They never showed a better fog 
in London on Lord Mayor's day, than en- 
wrapped the town of Mudfog on that event- 
ful occasion. It had risen slowly and surely 
from the green and stagnant water with the 
first light of morning, until it reached a little 
above the lamp-post tops ; and there it had 
stopped, with a sleepy, sluggish obstinacy, 
which bade defiance to the sun, who had got 
up very blood-shot about the eyes, as if he 
had been at a drinking-party over night, and 
was doing his day's work with .the worst pos- 
sible grace. The thick damp mist hung over 
the town like a huge gauze curtain. All was 
dim and dismal. The church steeples had 
bidden a temporary adieu to the world be- 

Ptiblic Life of Mr. Tulmmble. 25 

low ; and every object of lesser importance — 
houses, barns, hedges, trees, and barges — had 
all taken the veil. 

The church-clock struck one. A cracked 
trumpet from the front garden of Mudfog 
Hall produced a feeble flourish, as if some 
asthmatic person had coughed into it acci- 
dentally ; the gate flew open, and out came a 
gentleman, on a moist-sugar coloured charger, 
intended to represent a herald, but bearing a 
much stronger resemblance to a court-card on 
horseback. This was one of the Circus 
people, who always came down to Mudfog 
at that time of the year, and who had been 
engaged by Nicholas Tulrumble expressly 
for the occasion. There was the horse, 
whisking his tail about, balancing himself 
on his hind-legs, and flourishing away with 
his fore-feet, in a manner which would have 
gone to the hearts and souls of any reason- 
able crowd. But a Mudfog crowd never was 
a reasonable one, and in all probability never 

26 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

will be. Instead of scattering the very fog 
with their shouts, as they ought most indubi- 
tably to have done, and were fully intended 
to do, by Nicholas Tulrumble, they no sooner 
recognized the herald, than they began to 
growl forth the most unqualified disappro- 
bation at the bare notion of his riding like 
any other man. If he had come out on his 
head indeed, or jumping through a hoop, or 
flying through a red-hot drum, or even 
standing on one leg with his other foot in 
his mouth, they might have had something 
to say to him ; but for a professional gentle- 
man to sit astride in the saddle, with his feet 
in the stirrups, was rather too good a joke. 
So, the herald was a decided failure, and the 
crowd hooted with great energy, as he 
pranced ingloriously away. 

On the procession came. We are afraid 
to say how many supernumeraries there 
were, in striped shirts and black velvet caps, 
to imitate the London watermen, or how 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 27 

many base imitations of running-footmen, or 
how many banners, which, owing to the 
heaviness of the atmosphere, could by no 
means be prevailed on to display their in- 
scriptions : still less do we feel disposed to 
relate how the men who played the wind 
instruments, looking up into the sky (we 
mean the fog) with musical fervour, walked 
through pools of water and hillocks of mud, 
till they covered the powdered heads of the 
running-footmen aforesaid with splashes, that 
looked curious, but not ornamental ; or how 
the barrel-organ performer put on the wrong 
stop, and played one tune while the band 
played another ; or how the horses, being 
used to the arena, and not to the streets, 
would stand still and dance, instead of going 
on and prancing ; — all of which are matters 
which might be dilated upon to great 
advantage, but which we have not the least 
intention of dilating upon, notwithstanding. 
Oh ! it was a grand and beautiful sight to 

28 Public Life of Mr, Tulrumble, 

behold a corporation in glass coaches, pro- 
vided at the sole cost and charge of Nicholas 
Tulrumble, coming rolling along, like a 
funeral out of mourning, and to watch the 
attempts the corporation made to look great 
and solemn, when Nicholas Tulrumble him- 
self, in the four-wheel chaise, with the tall 
postilion, rolled out after them, with Mr. 
Jennings on one side to look like a chaplain, 
and a supernumerary on the other, with an 
old life-guardsman's sabre, to imitate the 
sword-bearer; and to see the tears rolling 
down the faces of the mob as they screamed 
with merriment. This was beautiful ! and 
so was the appearance of Mrs. Tulrumble 
and son, as they bowed with grave dignity 
out of their coach-window to all the dirty 
faces that were laughing around them : but 
it is not even with this that we have to do, 
but with the sudden stopping of the pro- 
cession at another blast of the trumpet, 
whereat, and whereupon, a profound silence 

, Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 29 

ensued, and all eyes were turned towards 
Mudfog Hall, in the confidant anticipation of 
some new wonder. 

" They won't laugh now, Mr. Jennings," 
said Nicholas Tulrumble. 

" I think not, sir," said Mr. Jennings. 

" See how eager they look," said Nicholas 
Tulrumble. " Aha ! the laugh will be on 
our side now ; eh, Mr. Jennings ? " 

" No ddubt of that, sir," replied Mr. Jen- 
nings; and Nicholas Tulrumble, in a state of 
pleasurable excitement, stood up in the four- 
wheel chaise, and telegraphed gratification to 
the Mayoress behind. 

While all this was going forward, Ned 
Twigger had descended into the kitchen of 
Mudfog Hall for the purpose of indulging 
the servants with a private view of the curi- 
osity that was to burst upon the town ; and, 
somehow or other, the footman was so com- 
panionable, and the housemaid so kind, and 
the cook so friendly, that he could not resist 

30 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

the offer of the first-mentioned to sit down 
and take something — just to drink success to 
master in. 

So, down Ned Twigger sat himself in his 
brass livery on the top of the kitchen-table ; 
and in a mug of something strong, paid for 
by the unconscious Nicholas Tulrumble, and 
provided by the companionable footman, 
drank success to the Mayor and his procession; 
and, as Ned laid by his helmet to imbibe the 
something strong, the companionable footman 
put it on his own head, to the immeasurable 
and unrecordable delight of the cook and 
housemaid. The companionable footman was 
very facetious to Ned, and Ned was very 
gallant to the cook and housemaid by turns. 
They were all very cosy and comfortable ; 
and the something strong went briskly round. 

At last Ned Twigger was loudly called 
for, by the procession people : and, having 
had his helmet fixed on, in a very complicated 
manner, by the companionable footman, and 

Public Life of Mr. Ttdrtcmble. 3 1 

the kind housemaid, and the friendly cook, 
he walked gravely forth, and appeared before 
the multitude. 

The crowd roared — it was not with won- 
der, it was not with surprise ; it was most 
decidedly and unquestionably with laughter. 

" What ! " said Mr. Tulrumble, starting 
up in the four-wheel chaise. " Laughing ? 
If they laugh at a man in real brass armour, 
they'd laugh when their own fathers were 
dying. Why doesn't he go into his place, 
Mr. Jennings ? What's he rolling down 
towards us for ? he has no business here ! " 

"I am afraid, sir " faltered Mr. Jen- 

" Afraid of what, sir ? " said Nicholas Tul- 
rumble, looking up into the secretary's face. 

" I am afraid he's drunk, sir ; " replied Mr. 

Nicholas Tulrumble took one look at the 
extraordinary figure that was bearing down 
upon them ; and then, clasping his secretary 

32 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

by the arm, uttered an audible groan in 
anguish of spirit. 

It is a melancholy fact that Mr. Twigger 
having full licence to demand a single glass 
of rum on the putting on of every piece of 
the armour, got, by some means or other, 
rather out of his calculation in the hurry and 
confusion of preparation, and drank about 
four glasses to a piece instead of one, not to 
mention the something strong which went on 
the top of it. Whether the brass armour 
checked the natural flow of perspiration, and 
thus prevented the spirit from evaporating, 
we are not scientific enough to know ; but, 
whatever the cause was, Mr. Twigger no 
sooner found himself outside the gate of 
Mudfog Hall, than he also found himself in 
a very considerable state of intoxication ; and 
hence his extraordinary style of progressing. 
This was bad enough, but, as if fate and 
fortune had conspired against Nicholas 
Tulrumble, Mr. Twigger, not having been 

Public Life of Mr. Tttlrumble. 33 

penitent for a good calendar month, took it 
into his head to be most especially and par- 
ticularly sentimental, just when his repentance 
could have been most conveniently dispensed 
with. Immense tears were rolling down his 
cheeks, and he was vainly endeavouring to 
conceal his grief by applying to his eyes a 
blue cotton pocket-handkerchief with white 
spots, — an article not strictly in keeping with 
a suit of armour some three hundred years 
old, or thereabouts. 

" Twigger, you villain!" said Nicholas 
Tulrumble, quite forgetting his dignity, " go 

" Never," said Ned. " I'm a miserable 
wretch. I'll never leave you." 

The by-standers of course received this 
declaration with acclamations of " That's 
right, Ned; don't!" 

" I don't intend it," said Ned, with all the 
obstinacy of a very tipsy man. " I'm very 
unhappy. I'm the wretched father of an 


34 Public Life of Mr. Tulrttmble. 

unfortunate family; but I am very faith- 
ful, sir. I'll never leave you." Having 
reiterated this obliging promise, Ned pro- 
ceeded in broken words to harangue the 
crowd upon the number of years he had 
lived in Mudfog, the excessive respectability 
of his character, and other topics of the like 

"Here! will anybody lead him away?" 
said Nicholas: "if they'll call on me after- 
wards, I'll reward them well." 

Two or three men stepped forward, with 
the view of bearing Ned off, when the secre- 
tary interposed. 

" Take care ! take care ! " said Mr. Jen- 
nings. " I beg your pardon, sir ; but they'd 
better not go too near him, because, if he 
falls over, hell certainly crush somebody." 

At this hint the crowd retired on all sides 
to a very respectful distance, and left Ned, 
like the Duke of Devonshire, in a little circle 
of his own. 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 35 

" But, Mr. Jennings," said Nicholas Tul- 
rumble, " he'll be suffocated." 

u I'm very sorry for it, sir," replied Mr. 
Jennings; " but nobody can get that armour 
off, without his own assistance. I'm quite 
certain of it from the way he put it on." 

Here Ned wept dolefully, and shook his 
helmeted head, in a manner that might have 
touched a heart of stone ; but the crowd had 
not hearts of stone, and they laughed heartily. 

" Dear me, Mr. Jennings," said Nicholas, 
turning pale at the possibility of Neds being 
smothered in his antique costume — " Dear 
me, Mr. Jennings, can nothing be done with 
him ? " 

" Nothing at all," replied Ned, " nothing 
at all. Gentlemen, I'm an unhappy wretch. 
I'm a body, gentlemen, in. a brass coffin." 
At this poetical idea of his own conjuring up, 
Ned cried so much that the people began to 
get sympathetic, and to ask what Nicholas 
Tulrumble meant by putting a man into such 

36 ' Public Life of Mr. Tttlrumble. 

a machine as that ; and one individual in a 
hairy waistcoat like the top of a trunk, who 
had previously expressed his opinion that if 
Ned hadn't been a poor man, Nicholas 
wouldn't have dared do it, hinted at the pro- 
priety of breaking the four-wheel chaise, or 
Nicholas's head, or both, which last compound 
proposition the crowd seemed to consider a 
very good notion. 

It was not acted upon, however, for it 
had hardly been broached, when Ned Twig- 
ger's wife made her appearance abruptly in 
the little circle before noticed, and Ned no 
sooner caught a glimpse of her face and form, 
than from the mere force of habit he set off 
towards his home just as fast as his legs could 
carry him ; and that was not very quick in 
the present instance either, for, however 
ready they might have been to carry him, 
they couldn't get on very well under the 
brass armour. So, Mrs. Twigger had plenty 
of time to denounce Nicholas Tulrumble to 

Ptiblic Life of Mr. Ttdrmjtble. . 37 

his face : to express her opinion that he was 
a decided monster ; and to intimate that, if 
her ill-used husband sustained any personal 
damage from the brass armour, she would 
have the law of Nicholas Tulrumble for 
manslaughter. When she had said all this 
with due vehemence, she posted after Ned, 
who was dragging himself along as best he 
could, and deploring his unhappiness in most 
dismal tones. 

What a wailing and screaming Ned's 
children raised when he got home at last ! 
Mrs, Twigger tried to undo the armour, first 
in one place, and then in another, but she 
couldn't manage it; so she tumbled Ned into 
bed, helmet, armour, gauntlets, and all. Such 
a creaking as the bedstead made, under Ned's 
weight in his new suit! It didn't break 
down though ; and there Ned lay, like the 
anonymous vessel in the Bay of Biscay, till 
next day, drinking barley-water, and looking 
miserable : and every time he groaned, his 

38 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

good lady said it served him right, which was 
all the consolation Ned Twigger got. 

Nicholas Tulrumble and the gorgeous 
procession went on together to the town- 
hall, amid the hisses and groans of all the 
spectators, who had suddenly taken it into 
their heads to consider poor Ned a martyr. 
Nicholas was formally installed in his new 
office, in acknowledgment of which ceremony 
he delivered himself of a speech, composed 
by the secretary, which was very long, and no 
doubt very good, only the noise of the people 
outside prevented anybody from hearing it, 
but Nicholas Tulrumble himself. After which, 
the procession got back to Mudfog Hall any 
how it could ; and Nicholas and the corpora- 
tion sat down to dinner. 

But the dinner was flat, and Nicholas was 
disappointed. They were such dull sleepy 
old fellows, that corporation. Nicholas made 
quite as long speeches as the Lord Mayor of 
London had done, nay, he said the very same 

P lib lie Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 39 

things that the Lord Mayor of London had 
said, and the deuce a cheer the corporation 
gave him. There was only one man in the 
party who was thoroughly awake ; and he 
was insolent and called him Nick. Nick ! 
What would be the consequence, thought 
Nicholas, of anybody presuming to call the 
Lord Mayor of London "Nick!" He 
should like to know what the sword-bearer 
would say to that ; or the recorder, or the 
toast-master, or any other of the great officers 
of the city. They'd nick him. 

But these were not the worst of Nicholas 
Tulrumble's doings. If they had been, he 
might have remained a Mayor to this day, 
and have talked till he lost his voice. He 
contracted a relish for statistics, and got 
philosophical ; and the statistics and the 
philosophy together, led him into an act 
which increased his unpopularity and hastened 
his downfall. 

At the very end of the Mudfog High- 

40 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

street, and abutting on the river-side, stands 
the Jolly Boatmen, an old-fashioned low- 
roofed, bay-windowed house, with a bar, 
kitchen, and tap-room all in one, and a 
large fire-place with a kettle to correspond, 
round which the working men have congre- 
gated time out of mind on a winter's night, 
refreshed by draughts of good strong beer, 
and cheered by the sounds of a fiddle and 
tambourine : the Jolly Boatmen having been 
duly licensed by the Mayor and corporation, 
to scrape the fiddle and thumb the tambourine 
from time, whereof the memory of the oldest 
inhabitants goeth not to the contrary. Now 
Nicholas Tulrumble had been reading pam- 
phlets on crime, and parliamentary reports, — 
or had made the secretary read them to him, 
which is the same thing in effect, — and he at 
once perceived that this fiddle and tambourine 
must have done more to demoralize Mudfog, 
than any other operating causes that inge- 
nuity could imagine. So he read up for the 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 41 

subject, and determined to come out on the 
corporation with a burst, the very next time 
the licence was applied for. 

The licensing day came, and the red- 
faced landlord of the Jolly Boatmen walked 
into the town-hall, looking as jolly as need 
be, having actually put on an extra fiddle for 
that night, to commemorate the anniversary 
of the Jolly Boatmen's music licence. It was 
applied for in due form, and was just about 
to be granted as a matter of course, when up 
rose Nicholas Tulrumble, and drowned the 
astonished corporation in a torrent of elo- 
quence. He descanted in glowing terms 
upon the increasing depravity of his native 
town of Mudfog, and the excesses committed 
by its population. Then, he related how 
shocked he had been, to see barrels of beer 
sliding down into the cellar of the Jolly 
Boatmen week after week ; and how he had 
sat at a window opposite the Jolly Boat- 
men for two days together, to count the 

42 Public Life of Mr. Tttlrumble. 

people who went in for beer between the 
hours of twelve and one o'clock alone — which, 
by-the-bye, was the time at which the great 
majority of the Mudfog people dined. Then, 
he went on to state, how the number of 
people who came out with beer-jugs, averaged 
twenty-one in five minutes, which, being mul- 
tiplied by twelve, gave two hundred and fifty- 
two people with beer-jugs in an hour, and mul- 
tiplied again by fifteen (the number of hours 
during which the house was open daily) 
yielded three thousand seven hundred and 
eighty people with beer-jugs per day, or 
twenty-six thousand four hundred and sixty 
people with beer-jugs, per week. Then he 
proceeded to show that a tambourine and 
moral degradation were synonymous terms, 
and a fiddle and vicious propensities wholly 
inseparable. All these arguments he strength- 
ened and demonstrated by frequent references 
to a large book with a blue cover, and sundry 
quotations from the Middlesex magistrates ; 

Public Life of Mr. Ttdrumble. 43 

and in the end, the corporation, who were 
posed with the figures, and sleepy with the 
speech, and sadly in want of dinner into the 
bargain, yielded the palm to Nicholas Tul- 
rumble, and refused the music licence to the 
Jolly Boatmen. 

But although Nicholas triumphed, his 
triumph was short. He carried on the war 
against beer-jugs and fiddles, forgetting the 
time when he was glad to drink out of the 
one, and to dance to the other, till the people 
hated, and his old friends shunned him. He 
grew tired of the lonely magnificence of 
Mudfog Hall, and his heart yearned to- 
wards the Lighterman's Arms. He wished 
he had never set up as a public man, and 
sighed for the good old times of the coal- 
shop, and the chimney corner. » 

At length old Nicholas, being thoroughly 
miserable, took heart of grace, paid the 
secretary a quarter's wages in advance, and 
packed him off to London by the next 

44 Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 

coach. Having taken this step, he put his 
hat on his head, and his pride in his 
pocket, and walked down to the old room at 
the Lighterman's Arms. There were only 
two of the old fellows there, and they 
looked coldly on Nicholas as he proffered 
his hand. 

" Are you going to put down pipes, Mr. 
Tulrumble ? " said one. 

" Or trace the progress of crime to 'bacca?" 
growled another. 

" Neither," replied Nicholas Tulrumble, 
shaking hands with them both, whether they 
would or not. " I've come down to say that 
I'm very sorry for having made a fool of my- 
self, and that I hope you'll give me up, the 
old chair, again." 

The old fellows opened their eyes, and 
three or four more old fellows opened the 
door, to whom Nicholas, with tears in his 
eyes, thrust out his hand too, and told the 
same story. They raised a shout of joy, that 

Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble. 45 

made the bells in the ancient church-tower 
vibrate again, and wheeling the old chair into 
the warm corner, thrust old Nicholas down 
into it, and ordered in the very largest-sized 
bowl of hot punch, with an unlimited number 
of pipes, directly. 

The next day, the Jolly Boatmen got the 
licence, and the next night, old Nicholas and 
Ned Twigger's wife led off a dance to the 
music of the fiddle and tambourine, the tone 
of which seemed mightily improved by a little 
rest, for they never had played so merrily 
before. Ned Twigger was in the very height 
of his glory, and he danced hornpipes, and 
balanced chairs on his chin, and straws on his 
nose, till the whole company, including the 
corporation, were in raptures of admiration 
at the brilliancy of his acquirements. 

Mr. Tulrumble, junior, couldn't make up 
his mind to be anything but magnificent, so 
he went up to London and drew bills on his 
father ; and when he had overdrawn, and got 

46 Public Life of Mr. Tulrwmble. 

into debt, he grew penitent, and came home 

As to old Nicholas, he kept his word, and 
having had six weeks of public life, never tried 
it any more. He went to sleep in the town- 
hall at the very next meeting ; and, in full 
proof of his sincerity, has requested us to 
write this faithful narrative. We wish it 
could have the effect of reminding the Tul- 
rumbles of another sphere, that puffed-up 
conceit is not dignity, and that snarling at the 
little pleasures they were once glad to enjoy, 
because they would rather forget the times 
when they were of lower station, renders 
them objects of contempt and ridicule. 

This is the first time we have published 
any of our gleanings from this particular 
source. Perhaps, at some future period, we 
may venture to open the chronicles of 



We have made the most unparalleled and 
extraordinary exertions to place before our 
readers a complete and accurate account of 
the proceedings at the late grand meeting of 
the Mudfog Association, holden in the town 
of Mudfog ; it affords us great happiness to 
lay the result before them, in the shape of 
various communications received from our 
able, talented, and graphic correspondent, ex- 
pressly sent down for the purpose, who has 
immortalized us, himself, Mudfog, and the 
association, all at one and the same time. 
We have been, indeed, for some days unable 
to determine who will transmit the greatest 

48 Report of the First Meeting 

name to posterity ; ourselves, who sent our 
correspondent down; our correspondent, who 
wrote an account of the matter ; or the asso- 
ciation, who gave our correspondent some- 
thing to write about. We rather incline to 
the opinion that we are the greatest man of 
the party, inasmuch as the notion of an exclu- 
sive and authentic report originated with us; 
this may be prejudice : it may arise from a 
prepossession on our part in our own favour. 
Be it so. We have no doubt that every gen- 
tleman concerned in this mighty assemblage 
is troubled with the same complaint in a 
greater or less degree; and it is a consolation 
to us to know that we have at least this feel- 
ing in common with the great scientific stars, 
the brilliant and extraordinary luminaries, 
whose speculations we record. 

We give our correspondent's letters in 
the order in which they reached us. Any 
attempt at amalgamating them into one beau- 
tiful whole, would only destroy that glowing 

of the Mudfog Association. 49 

tone, that dash of wildness, and rich vein of 
picturesque interest, which pervade them 

"Mudfog, Monday night, seven o'clock. 
" We are in a state of great excitement 
here. Nothing is spoken of, but the approach- 
ing meeting of the association. The inn- 
doors are thronged with waiters anxiously 
looking for the expected arrivals; and the 
numerous bills which are wafered up in the 
windows of private houses, intimating that 
there are beds to let within, give the streets 
a very animated and cheerful appearance, the 
wafers being of a great variety of colours, 
and the monotony of printed inscriptions 
being relieved by every possible size and style 
of hand-writing. It is confidently rumoured 
that Professors Snore, Doze, and Wheezy 
have engaged three beds and a sitting-room 
at the Pig and Tinder-box. I give you the 
rumour as it has reached me ; but I cannot, 
as yet, vouch for its accuracy. The moment 


50 Report of the First Meeting 

I have been enabled to obtain any certain 
information upon this interesting point, you 
may depend upon receiving it." 

" Half -past seven. 
" I have just returned from a personal 
interview with the landlord of the Pig and 
Tinder-box. He speaks confidently of the 
probability of Professors Snore, Doze, and 
Wheezy taking up their residence at his 
house during the sitting of the association, 
but denies that the beds have been yet 
engaged ; in which representation he is con- 
firmed by the chambermaid, — a girl of artless 
manners, and interesting appearance. The 
boots denies that it is at all likely that Pro- 
fessors Snore, Doze, and Wheezy will put up 
here ; but I have reason to believe that this 
man has been suborned by the proprietor of 
the Original Pig, which is the opposition 
hotel. Amidst such conflicting testimony it 
is difficult to arrive at the real truth ; but you 
may depend upon receiving authentic infor- 

of the Mudfog Association. 5 1 

mation upon this point the moment the fact 
is ascertained. The excitement still con- 
tinues. A boy fell through the window of 
the pastrycook's shop at the corner of the 
High-street about half an hour ago, which has 
occasioned much confusion. The general im- 
pression is, that it was an accident. Pray 
heaven it may prove so ! " 

" Tuesday, noon. 

" At an early hour this morning the bells 
of all the churches struck seven o'clock ; the 
effect of which, in the present lively state of 
the town, was extremely singular. While I 
was at breakfast, a yellow gig, drawn by a 
dark grey horse, with a patch of white over 
his right eyelid, proceeded at a rapid pace in 
the direction of the Original Pig stables; it is 
currently reported that this gentleman has 
arrived here for the purpose of attending the 
association, and, from what I have heard, I 
consider it extremely probable, although 
nothing decisive is yet known regarding him. 

52 Report of the First Meeting 

You may conceive the anxiety with which we 
are all looking forward to the arrival of the 
four o'clock coach this afternoon. 

" Notwithstanding the excited state of the 
populace, no outrage has yet been committed, 
owing to the admirable discipline and dis- 
cretion of the police, who are nowhere to be 
seen. A barrel-organ is playing opposite my 
window, and groups of people, offering fish 
and vegetables for sale, parade the streets. 
With these exceptions everything is quiet, 
and I trust will continue so." 

"Five o'clock. 

" It is now ascertained, beyond all doubt, 
that Professors Snore, Doze, and Wheezy will 
not repair to the Pig and Tinder-box, but 
have actually engaged apartments at the 
Original Pig. This intelligence is exclusive ; 
and I leave you and your readers to draw 
their own inferences from it. Why Professor 
Wheezy, of all people in the world, should 
repair to the Original Pig in preference to 

of the Mitdfog Association. 53 

the Pig and Tinder-box, it is not easy to 
conceive. The professor is a man who should 
be above all such petty feelings. Some people 
here openly impute treachery, and a distinct 
breach of faith to Professors Snore and Doze ; 
while others, again, are disposed to acquit 
them of any culpability in the transaction, 
and to insinuate that the blame rests solely 
with Professor Wheezy. I own that I incline 
to the latter opinion ; and although it gives 
me great pain to speak in terms of censure 
or disapprobation of a man of such transcen- 
dent genius and acquirements, still I am 
bound to say that, if my suspicions be well 
founded, and if all the reports which have 
reached my ears be true, I really do not well 
know what to make of the matter. 

" Mr. Slug, so celebrated for his statistical 
researches, arrived this afternoon by the four 
o'clock stage. His complexion is a dark 
purple, and he has a habit of sighing con- 
stantly. He looked extremely well, and 

54 Report of the First Meeting 

appeared in high health and spirits. Mr. 
Woodensconse also came down in the same 
conveyance. The distinguished gentleman 
was fast asleep on his arrival, and I am in- 
formed by the guard that he had been so the 
whole way. He was, no doubt, preparing for 
his approaching fatigues ; but what gigantic 
visions must those be that flit through the 
brain of such a man when his body is in a 
state of torpidity ! 

" The influx of visitors increases every 
moment. I am told (I know not how truly) 
that two post-chaises have arrived at the 
Original Pig within the last half-hour, and I 
myself observed a wheelbarrow, containing 
three carpet bags and a bundle, entering the 
yard of the Pig and Tinder-box no longer 
ago than five minutes since. The people are 
still quietly pursuing their ordinary occupa- 
tions ; but there is a wildness in their eyes, 
and an unwonted rigidity in the muscles of 
their countenances, which shows to the ob- 

of the Mudfog Association. 5 5 

servant spectator that their expectations are 
strained to the very utmost pitch. I fear, 
unless some very extraordinary arrivals take 
place to-night, that consequences may arise 
from this popular ferment, which every man 
of sense and feeling would deplore." 

" Twenty mimctes past six. 
" I have just heard that the boy who fell 
through the pastrycook's window last night 
has died of the fright. He was suddenly 
called upon to pay three and sixpence for the 
damage done, and his constitution, it seems, 
was not strong enough to bear up against the 
shock. The inquest, it is said, will be held 

to-morrow. ,, 

" Three-quarters past seven. 

" Professors Muff and Nogo have just 
driven up to the hotel door ; they at once 
ordered dinner with great condescension. We 
are all very much delighted with the urbanity 
of their manners, and the ease with which 
they adapt themselves to the forms and cere- 

56 Report of the First Meeting 

monies of ordinary life. Immediately on 
their arrival they sent for the head waiter, 
and privately requested him to purchase a 
live dog, — as cheap a one as he could meet 
with, — and to send him up after dinner, with 
a pie-board, a knife and fork, and a clean 
plate. It is conjectured that some experi- 
ments will be tried upon the dog to-night ; if 
any particulars should transpire, I will forward 
them by express. ,, 

" Half-past eight, 
u The animal has been procured. He is a 
pug-dog, of rather intelligent appearance, in 
good condition, and with very short legs. He 
has been tied to a curtain-peg in a dark room, 
and is howling dreadfully." 

" Ten minutes to nine. 
" The dog has just been rung for. With 
an instinct which would appear almost the 
result of reason, the sagacious animal seized 
the waiter by the calf of the leg when he 
approached to take him, and made a despe- 

of the Mudfog Association. 5 7 

rate, though ineffectual resistance. I have 
not been able to procure admission to the 
apartment occupied by the scientific gentle- 
men ; but, judging from the sounds which 
reached my ears when I stood upon the land- 
ing-place outside the door, just now, I should 
be disposed to say that the dog had retreated 
growling beneath some article of furniture, 
and was keeping the professors at bay. This 
conjecture is confirmed by the testimony of 
the ostler, who, after peeping through the 
keyhole, assures me that he distinctly saw 
Professor Nogo on his knees, holding forth a 
small bottle of prussic acid, to which the 
animal, who was crouched beneath an arm- 
chair, obstinately declined to smell. You 
cannot imagine the feverish state of irritation 
we are in, lest the interests of science should 
be sacrificed to the prejudices of a brute 
creature, who is not endowed with sufficient 
sense to foresee the incalculable benefits 
which the whole human race may derive 

58 Report of the First Meeting 

from so very slight a concession on his 

" Nine d clock. 

" The dog's tail and ears have been sent 
down stairs to be washed ; from which cir- 
cumstance we infer that the animal is no 
more. His forelegs have been delivered to 
the boots to be brushed, which strengthens 
the supposition/' 

u Half after ten. 

" My feelings are so overpowered by 
what has taken place in the course of the last 
hour and a half, that I have scarcely strength 
to detail the rapid succession of events 
which have quite bewildered all those who 
are cognizant of their occurrence. It ap- 
pears that the pug-dog mentioned in my last 
was surreptitiously obtained, — stolen, in fact, 
— by some person attached to the stable 
department, from an unmarried lady resident 
in this town. Frantic on discovering the 
loss of her favourite, the lady rushed dis- 

of the Mudfog A ssociation. 5 9 

tractedly into the street, calling in the most 
heart-rending and pathetic manner upon the 
passengers to restore her, her Augustus, — 
for so the deceased was named, in affection- 
ate remembrance of a former lover of his 
mistress, to whom he bore a striking per- 
sonal resemblance, which renders the circum- 
stances additionally affecting. I am not yet 
in a condition to inform you what circum- 
stance induced the bereaved lady to direct 
her steps to the hotel which had witnessed 
the last struggles of her protdgd. I can only 
state that she arrived there, at the very 
instant when his detached members were 
passing through the passage on a small tray. 
Her shrieks still reverberate in my ears ! I 
grieve to say that the expressive features of 
Professor Muff were much scratched and 
lacerated by the injured lady; and that 
Professor Nogo, besides sustaining several 
severe bites, has lost some handfuls of hair 
from the same cause. It must be some 

60 Report of the First Meeting 

consolation to these gentlemen to know that 
their ardent attachment to scientific pursuits 
has alone occasioned these unpleasant con- 
sequences ; for which the sympathy of a 
grateful country will sufficiently reward them. 
The unfortunate lady remains at the Pig and 
Tinder-box, and up to this time is reported in 
a very precarious state. 

" I need scarcely tell you that this un- 
looked-for catastrophe has cast a damp and 
gloom upon us in the midst of our exhilara- 
tion ; natural in any case, but greatly en- 
hanced in this, by the amiable qualities of 
the deceased animal, who appears to have 
been much and deservedly respected by the 
whole of his acquaintance." 

" Twelve d clock. 

" I take the last opportunity before seal- 
ing my parcel to inform you that the boy who 
fell through the pastrycook's window is not 
dead, as was universally believed, but alive 
and well. The report appears to have had 

of the Mudfog Association. 6 1 

its origin in his mysterious disappearance. 
He was found half an hour since on the pre- 
mises of a sweet-stuff maker, where a raffle 
had been announced for a second-hand seal- 
skin cap and a tambourine ; and where — a 
sufficient number of members not having 
been obtained at first — he had patiently waited 
until the list was completed. This fortunate 
discovery has in some degree restored our 
gaiety and cheerfulness. It is proposed to 
get up a subscription for him without 

" Everybody is nervously anxious to see 
what to-morrow will bring forth. If any one 
should arrive in the course of the night, I 
have left strict directions to be called imme- 
diately. I should have sat up, indeed, but 
the agitating events of this day have been too 
much for me. 

" No news yet of either of the Profes- 
sors Snore, Doze, or Wheezy. It is very 
strange ! " 

6 2 Report of the First Meeting 

" Wednesday afternoon. 
" All is now over ; and, upon one point 
at least, I am at length enabled to set the 
minds of your readers at rest. The three 
professors arrived at ten minutes after two 
o'clock, and,, instead of taking up their quar- 
ters at the Original Pig, as it was universally 
understood in the course of yesterday that 
they would assuredly have done, drove 
straight to the Pig and Tinder-box, where 
they threw off the mask at once, and openly 
announced their intention of remaining. 
Professor Wheezy may reconcile this very 
extraordinary conduct with his notions of 
fair and equitable dealing, but I would re- 
commend Professor Wheezy to be cautious 
how he presumes too far upon his well-earned 
reputation. How such a man as Professor 
Snore, or, which is still more extraordinary, 
such an individual as Professor Doze, can 
quietly allow himself to be mixed up with 
such proceedings as these, you will naturally 

of the Mudfog Association, 63 

inquire. Upon this head, rumour is silent ; 
I have my speculations, but forbear to give 
utterance to them just now." 

" Four o'clock. 

" The town is filling fast ; eighteenpence 
has been offered for a bed and refused. 
Several gentlemen were under the necessity 
last night of sleeping in the brick fields, and 
on the steps of doors, for which they were 
taken before the magistrates in a body 
this morning, and committed to prison as 
vagrants for various terms. One of these 
persons I understand to be a highly-respect- 
able tinker, of great practical skill, who had 
forwarded a paper to the President of Section 
D. Mechanical Science, on the construction 
of pipkins with copper bottoms and safety- 
valves, of which report speaks highly. The 
incarceration of this gentleman is greatly to 
be regretted, as his absence will preclude any 
discussion on the subject. 

" The bills are being taken down in all 

64 Report of the First Meeting 

directions, and lodgings are being secured on 
almost any terms. I have heard of fifteen 
shillings a week for two rooms, exclusive of 
coals and attendance, but I can scarcely be- 
lieve it. The excitement is dreadful. I was 
informed this morning that the civil authori- 
ties, apprehensive of some outbreak of popu- 
lar feeling, had commanded a recruiting ser- 
geant and two corporals to be under arms ; 
and that, with the view of not irritating the 
people unnecessarily by their presence, they 
had been requested to take up their position 
before daybreak in a turnpike, distant about 
a quarter of a mile from the town. The 
vigour and promptness of these measures 
cannot be too highly extolled. 

" Intelligence has just been brought me, 
that an elderly female, in a state of inebriety, 
has declared in the open street her intention 
to ' do ' for Mr. Slug. Some statistical re- 
turns compiled by that gentleman, relative to 
the consumption of raw spirituous liquors in 

of the Mttdfog Association. 65 

this place, are supposed to be the cause of 
the wretch's animosity. It is added that this 
declaration was loudly cheered by a crowd of 
persons who had assembled on the spot ; and 
that one man had the boldness to designate 
Mr. Slug aloud by the opprobrious epithet of 
u Stick-in-the-mud ! " It is earnestly to be 
hoped that now, when the moment has 
arrived for their interference, the magistrates 
will not shrink from the exercise of that 
power which is vested in them by the consti- 
tution of our common country.'' 

" Half-past ten. 
" The disturbance, I am happy to inform 
you, has been completely quelled, and the 
ringleader taken into custody. She had a 
pail of cold water thrown over her, previous 
to being locked up, and expresses great con- 
trition and uneasiness. We are all in a fever 
of anticipation about to-morrow ; but, now 
that we are within a few hours of the meeting 
of the association, and at last enjoy the proud 

66 Report of the First Meeting 

consciousness of having its illustrious mem- 
bers amongst us, I trust and hope everything 
may go off peaceably. I shall send you a full 
report of to-morrow's proceedings by the 

night coach." 

" Eleven d clock. 

" I open my letter to say that nothing 

whatever has occurred since I folded it up." 

" Thursday. 
" The sun rose this morning at the usual 
hour. I did not observe anything particular 
in the aspect of the glorious planet, except 
that he appeared to me (it might have been 
a delusion of my heightened fancy) to shine 
with more than common brilliancy, and to 
shed a refulgent lustre upon the town, such 
as I had never observed before. This is the 
more extraordinary, as the sky was perfectly 
cloudless, and the atmosphere peculiarly fine. 
At half-past nine o'clock the general com- 
mittee assembled, with the last year's presi- 
dent in the chair. The report of the council 

of the Mudfog Association. 6 7 

was read ; and one passage, which stated 
that the council had corresponded with no 
less than three thousand five hundred and 
seventy-one persons, (all of whom paid 
their own postage,) on no fewer than seven 
thousand two hundred and forty-three topics, 
was received with a degree of enthusiasm 
which no efforts could suppress. The vari- 
ous committees and sections having been 
appointed, and the more formal business trans- 
acted, the great proceedings of the meeting 
commenced at eleven o'clock precisely. I 
had the happiness of occupying a most eli- 
gible position at that time, in 

"Section A. — Zoology and Botany. 


President — Professor Snore. Vice-Presidents — Professors 
Doze and Wheezy. 

" The scene at this moment was particu- 
larly striking. The sun streamed through 
the windows of the apartments, and tinted the 
whole scene with its brilliant rays, bringing 

68 Report of the First Meeting 

out in strong relief the noble visages of the 
professors and scientific gentlemen, who, some 
with bald heads, some with red heads, some 
with brown heads, some with grey heads, 
some with black heads, some with block 
heads, presented a coup d'ceil which no eye- 
witness will readily forget. In front of these 
gentlemen were papers and inkstands ; and 
round the room, on elevated benches extend- 
ing as far as the forms could reach, were 
assembled a brilliant concourse of those lovely 
and elegant women for which Mudfog is 
justly acknowledged to be without a rival in 
the whole world. The contrast between their 
fair faces and the dark coats and trousers of 
the scientific gentlemen I shall never cease 
to remember while Memory holds her seat. 

" Time having been allowed for a slight 
confusion, occasioned by the falling down of 
the greater part of the platforms, to subside, 
the president called on one of the secretaries 
to read a communication entitled, ' Some 

of the Mudfog Association. 69 

remarks on the industrious fleas, with con- 
siderations on the importance of establishing 
infant-schools among that numerous class of 
society ; of directing their industry to useful 
and practical ends ; and of applying the sur- 
plus fruits thereof, towards providing for them 
a comfortable and respectable maintenance in 
their old age.' 

" The author stated, that, having long 
turned his attention to the moral and social 
condition of these interesting animals, he had 
been induced to visit an exhibition in Regent- 
street, London, commonly known by the 
designation of ' The Industrious Fleas/ 
He had there seen many fleas, occupied 
certainly in various pursuits and avocations, 
but occupied, he was bound to add, in a 
manner which no man of well-regulated mind 
could fail to regard with sorrow and regret. 
One flea, reduced to the level of a beast of 
burden, was drawing about a miniature gig, 
containing a particularly small effigy of His 

yo Report of the First Meeting 

grace the Duke of Wellington ; while another 
was staggering beneath the weight of a 
golden model of his great adversary Napoleon 
Bonaparte. Some, brought up as mounte- 
banks and ballet-dancers, were performing a 
figure-dance (he regretted to observe, that, of 
the fleas so employed, several were females) ; 
others were in training, in a small card- 
board box, for pedestrians, — mere sporting 
characters— and two were actually engaged 
in the cold-blooded and barbarous occupation 
of duelling; a pursuit from which humanity 
recoiled with horror and disgust. He sug- 
gested that measures should be immediately 
taken to employ the labour of these fleas as 
part and parcel of the productive power of 
the country, which might easily be done by 
the establishment among them of infant 
schools and houses of industry, in which a 
system of virtuous education, based upon 
sound principles, should be observed, and 
moral precepts strictly inculcated. He pro- 

of the Mudfog Association. 7 1 

posed that every flea who presumed to 
exhibit, for hire, music, or dancing, or any 
species of theatrical entertainment, without 
a licence, should be considered a vagabond, 
and treated accordingly ; in which respect 
he only placed him upon a level with the 
rest of mankind. He would further suggest 
that their labour should be placed under the 
control and regulation of the state, who 
should set apart from the profits, a fund for 
the support of superannuated or disabled 
fleas, their widows and orphans. With this 
view, he proposed that liberal premiums 
should be offered for the three best designs 
for a general almshouse ; from which — as 
insect architecture was well known to be in 
a very advanced and perfect state — we might 
possibly derive many valuable hints for the 
improvement of our metropolitan universi- 
ties, national galleries, and other public 

" The President wished to be informed 

72 Report of the First Meeting 

how the ingenious gentleman proposed to 
open a communication with fleas generally, 
in the first instance, so that they might be 
thoroughly imbued with a sense of the ad- 
vantages they must necessarily derive from 
changing their mode of life, and applying 
themselves to honest labour. This appeared 
to him, the only difficulty. 

" The Author submitted that this diffi- 
culty was easily overcome, or rather that 
there was no difficulty at all in the case. 
Obviously the course to be pursued, if Her 
Majesty's government could be prevailed 
upon to take up the plan, would be, to secure 
at a remunerative salary the individual to 
whom he had alluded as presiding over the 
exhibition in Regent-street at the period of 
his visit. That gentleman would at once be 
able to put himself in communication with 
the mass of the fleas, and to instruct them 
in pursuance of some general plan of educa- 
tion, to be sanctioned by Parliament, until 

of the Mudfog Association. 73 

such time as the more intelligent among 
them were advanced enough to officiate as 
teachers to the rest 

" The President and several members of 
the section highly complimented the author 
of the paper last read, on his most ingenious 
and important treatise. It was determined 
that the subject should be recommended to 
the immediate consideration of the council. 

" Mr. Wigsby produced a cauliflower 
somewhat larger than a chaise-umbrella, 
which had been raised by no other artificial 
means than the simple application of highly 
carbonated soda-water as manure. He ex- 
plained that by scooping out the head, which 
would afford a new and delicious species of 
nourishment for the poor, a parachute, in 
principle something similar to that con- 
structed by M. Garnerin, was at once ob- 
tained ; the stalk of course being kept down- 
wards. He added that he was perfectly 
willing to make a descent from a height of 

74 Report of the First Meeting 

not less than three miles and a quarter ; and 
had in fact already proposed the same to the 
proprietors of Vauxhall Gardens, who in the 
handsomest manner at once consented to 
his wishes, and appointed an early day next 
summer for the undertaking ; merely stipu- 
lating that the rim of the cauliflower should 
be previously broken in three or four places 
to ensure the safety of the descent. 

" The President congratulated the 
public on the grand gala in store for them, 
and warmly eulogised the proprietors of the 
establishment alluded to, for their love of 
science, and regard for the safety of human 
life, both of which did them the highest 

" A Member wished to know how many 
thousand additional lamps the royal property 
would be illuminated with, on the night after 
the descent. 

" Mr. Wigsby replied that the point was 
not yet finally decided; but he believed it 

of the Mitdfog Association. 75 

was proposed, over and above the ordinary 
illuminations, to exhibit in various devices 
eight millions and a-half of additional lamps. 

"The Member expressed himself much 
gratified with this announcement. 

" Mr. Blunderum delighted the section 
with a most interesting and valuable paper 
* on the last moments of the learned pig,' 
which produced a very strong impression on 
the assembly, the account being compiled 
from the personal recollections of his 
favourite attendant. The account stated in 
the most emphatic terms that the animal's 
name was not Toby, but Solomon ; and dis- 
tinctly proved that he could have no near 
relatives in the profession, as many designing 
persons had falsely stated, inasmuch as his 
father, mother, brothers and sisters, had all 
fallen victims to the butcher at different 
times. An uncle of his indeed, had with 
very great labour been traced to a sty in 
Somers Town ; but as he was in a very 

76 Report of the First Meeting 

infirm state at the time, being afflicted with 
measles, and shortly afterwards disappeared, 
there appeared too much reason to conjecture 
that he had been converted into sausages. 
The disorder of the learned pig was origi- 
nally a severe cold, which, being aggravated 
by excessive trough indulgence, finally settled 
upon the lungs, and terminated in a general 
decay of the constitution. A melancholy 
instance of a presentiment entertained by 
the animal of his approaching dissolution, 
was recorded. After gratifying a numerous 
and fashionable company with his perform- 
ances, in which no falling off whatever was 
visible, he fixed his eyes on the biographer, 
and, turning to the watch which lay on the 
floor, and on which he was accustomed to 
point out the hour, deliberately passed his 
snout twice round the dial. In precisely 
four-and-twenty hours from that time he had 
ceased to exist ! 

11 Professor Wheezy inquired whether, 

of the Mudfog Association. 77 

previous to his demise, the animal had ex- 
pressed, by signs or otherwise, any wishes 
regarding the disposal of his little property. 

" Mr. Blunderum replied, that, when the 
biographer took up the pack of cards at the 
conclusion of the performance, the animal 
grunted several times in a significant manner, 
and nodding his head as he was accustomed 
to do, when gratified. From these gestures 
it was understood that he wished the attend- 
ant to keep the cards, which he had ever 
since done. He had not expressed any wish 
relative to his watch, which had accordingly 
been pawned by the same individual. 

" The President wished to know whe- 
ther any Member of the section had ever 
seen or conversed with the pig-faced lady, 
who was reported to have worn a black 
velvet mask, and to have taken her meals 
from a golden trough. 

" After some hesitation a Member replied 
that the pig-faced lady was his mother-in-law, 

78 Report of the First Meeting 

and that he trusted the President would not 
violate the sanctity of private life. 

" The President begged pardon. He 
had considered the pig-faced lady a public 
character. Would the honourable member 
object to state, with a view to the advance- 
ment of science, whether she was in any way 
connected with the learned pig ? 

" The Member replied in the same low 
tone, that, as the question appeared to in- 
volve a suspicion that the learned pig might 
be his half-brother, he must decline answer- 
ing it. 

" Section B. — Anatomy and Medicine. 


President — Dr. Toorell. Vice-Presidents — Professors 
Muff and Nogo. 

" Dr. Kutankumagen (of Moscow) read 

to the section a report of a case which had 

occurred within his own practice, strikingly 

illustrative of the power of medicine, as 

exemplified in his successful treatment of a 

of the Mtidjog Association. 79 

virulent disorder. He had been called in to 
visit the patient on the 1st of April 1837. 
He was then labouring under symptoms 
peculiarly alarming to any medical man. 
His frame was stout and muscular, his step 
firm and elastic, his cheeks plump and red, 
his voice loud, his appetite good, his pulse 
full and round. He was in the constant 
habit of eating three meals per diem, and of 
drinking at least one bottle of wine, and one 
glass of spirituous liquors diluted with water, 
in the course of the four-and-twenty hours. 
He laughed constantly, and in so hearty a 
manner that it was terrible to hear him. By 
dint of powerful medicine, low diet, and 
bleeding, the symptoms in the course of 
three days perceptibly decreased. A rigid 
perseverance in the same course of treat- 
ment for only one week, accompanied with 
small doses of water-gruel, weak broth, and 
barley-water, led to their entire disappearance. 
In the course of a month he was sufficiently 

80 Report of the First Meeting 

recovered to be carried down stairs by two 
nurses, and to enjoy an airing in a close 
carriage, supported by soft pillows. At the 
present moment he was restored so far as 
to walk about, with the slight assistance of a 
crutch and a boy. It would perhaps be grati- 
fying to the section to learn that he ate little, 
drank little, slept little, and was never heard 
to laugh by any accident whatever. 

" Dr. W. R. Fee, in complimenting the 
honourable member upon the triumphant cure 
he had effected, begged to ask whether the 
patient still bled freely ? 

" Dr. Kutankumagen replied in the 

" Dr. W. R. Fee.— And you found that 
he bled freely during the whole course of the 
disorder ? 

" Dr. Kutankumagen. — Oh dear, yes; 
most freely. 

"Dr. Neeshawts supposed, that if the 
patient had not submitted to be bled with 

of the Mudfog Association. 

great readiness and perseverance, so extra- 
ordinary a cure could never, in fact, have 
been accomplished. Dr. Kutankumagen 
rejoined, certainly not. 

"Mr. Knight Bell (M.R.C.S.) ex- 
hibited a wax preparation of the interior of 
a gentleman who in early life had inad- 
vertently swallowed a door-key. It was a 
curious fact that a medical student of dissi- 
pated habits, being present at the post mortem 
examination, found means to escape unob- 
served from the room, with that portion of 
the coats of the stomach upon which an exact 
model of the instrument was distinctly im- 
pressed, with which he hastened to a lock- 
smith of doubtful character, who made a new 
key from the pattern so shown to him. 
With this key the medical student entered 
the house - of the deceased gentleman, and 
committed a burglary to a large amount, 
for which he was subsequently tried and 


8 2 Report of the First Meeting 

" The President wished to know what 
became of the original key after the lapse of 
years. Mr. Knight Bell replied that the 
gentleman was always much accustomed to 
punch, and it was supposed the acid had 
gradually devoured it. 

" Dr. Neeshawts and several of the 
members were of opinion that the key must 
have lain very cold and heavy upon the 
gentleman's stomach. 

" Mr. Knight Bell believed it did at 
first. It was worthy of remark, perhaps, that 
for some years the gentleman was troubled 
with a night-mare, under the influence of 
which he always imagined himself a wine- 
cellar door. 

" Professor Muff related a very extra- 
ordinary and convincing proof of the won- 
derful efficacy of the system of infinitesimal 
doses, which the section were doubtless 
aware was based upon the theory that the 
very minutest amount of any given drug, 

of the Mudfog Association. 83 

properly dispersed through the human frame, 
would be productive of precisely the same 
result as a very large dose administered in the 
usual manner. Thus, the fortieth part of a 
grain of calomel was supposed to be equal to 
a five-grain calomel pill, and so on in propor- 
tion throughout the whole range of medicine. 
He had tried the experiment in a curious 
manner upon a publican who had been 
brought into the hospital with a broken head, 
and was cured upon the infinitesimal system 
in the incredibly short space of three months. 
This man was a hard drinker. He (Professor 
Muff) had dispersed three drops of rum 
through a bucket of water, and requested the 
man to drink the whole. What was the 
result ? Before he had drunk a quart, he 
was in a state of beastly intoxication ; and 
five other men were made dead drunk with 
the remainder. 

" The President wished to know whether 
an infinitesimal dose of soda-water would 

84 Report of the First Meeting 

have recovered them ? Professor Muff re- 
plied that the twenty-fifth part of a tea- 
spoonful, properly administered to each 
patient, would have sobered him immediately. 
The President remarked that this was a most 
important discovery, and he hoped the Lord 
Mayor and Court of Aldermen would patron- 
ize it immediately. 

" A Member begged to be informed 
whether it would be possible to administer — 
say, the twentieth part of a grain of bread 
and cheese to all grown-up paupers, and the 
fortieth part to children, with the same satis- 
fying effect as their present allowance. 

" Professor Muff was willing to stake 
his professional reputation on the perfect 
adequacy of such a quantity of food to the 
support of human life — in workhouses ; the 
addition of the fifteenth part of a grain of 
pudding twice a week would render it a high 

" Professor Nogo called the attention of 

of the Mudfog Association. 85 

the section to a very extraordinary case of 
animal magnetism. A private watchman, 
being merely looked at by the operator from 
the opposite side of a wide street, was at once 
observed to be in a very drowsy and languid 
state. He was followed to his box, and 
being once slightly rubbed on the palms of 
the hands, fell into a sound sleep, in which he 
continued without intermission for ten hours. 

" Section C. — Statistics. 


President — Mr. Woodensconce. Vice-Presidents — Mr. 
Ledbrain and Mr. Timbered. 

" Mr. Slug stated to the section the 
result of some calculations he had made with 
great difficulty and labour, regarding the state 
of infant education among the middle classes 
of London. He found that, within a circle 
of three miles from the Elephant and Castle, 
the following were the names and numbers of 
children's books principally in circulation : — 


Report of the First Meeting 

" Jack the Giant-killer . 

• 7>943 

Ditto and Bean-stalk . 

. 8,621 

Ditto and Eleven Brothers . 

. 2,845 

Ditto and Jill . . 

. 1,998 


. 21,407 

" He found that the proportion of Robin- 
son Crusoes to Philip Quarlls was as four and 
a half to one ; and that the preponderance of 
Valentine and Orsons over Goody Two 
Shoeses was as three and an eighth of the 
former to half a one of the latter ; a com- 
parison of Seven Champions with Simple 
Simons gave the same result. The igno- 
rance that prevailed, was lamentable. One 
child, on being asked whether he would 
rather be Saint George of England or a 
respectable tallow-chandler, instantly replied, 
1 Taint George of Ingling.' Another, a little 
boy of eight years old, was found to be firmly 
impressed with a belief in the existence of 
dragons, and openly stated that it was his 
intention when he grew up, to rush forth 

of the Mitdfog Association. 87 

sword in hand for the deliverance of captive 
princesses, and the promiscuous slaughter of 
giants. Not one child among the number 
interrogated had ever heard of Mun^o Park, 
— some inquiring whether he was at all con- 
nected with the black man that swept the 
crossing ; and others whether he was in any- 
way related to the Regent's Park. They 
had not the slightest conception of the 
commonest principles of mathematics, and 
considered Sinbad the Sailor the most 
enterprising voyager that the world had 
ever produced. 

" A Member strongly deprecating the use 
of all the other books mentioned, suggested 
that Jack and Jill might perhaps be exempted 
from the general censure, inasmuch as the 
hero and heroine, in the very outset of the 
tale, were depicted as going up a hill to fetch 
a pail of water, which was a laborious and 
useful occupation, — supposing the family 
linen was being washed, for instance. 

88 Report of the First Meeting 

" Mr. Slug feared that the moral effect of 
this passage was more than counterbalanced 
by another in a subsequent part of the poem, 
in which very gross allusion was made to the 
mode in which the heroine was personally 
chastised by her mother 

" ' For laughing at Jack's disaster ; ' 

besides, the whole work had this one great 
fault, it was not t7'ue. 

" The President complimented the 
honourable member on the excellent dis- 
tinction he had drawn. Several other Mem- 
bers, too, dwelt upon the immense and urgent 
necessity of storing the minds of children 
with nothing but facts and figures ; which 
process the President very forcibly remarked, 
had made them (the section) the men they 

" Mr. Slug then stated some curious 
calculations respecting the dogs'-meat barrows 
of London. He found that the total number 

of the Mud fog Association. 89 

of small carts and barrows engaged in dis- 
pensing provision to the cats and dogs of the 
metropolis was one thousand seven hundred 
and forty-three. The average number of 
skewers delivered daily with the provender, 
by each dogs'-meat cart or barrow, was 
thirty-six. Now, multiplying the number of 
skewers so delivered by the number of bar- 
rows, a total of sixty-two thousand seven 
hundred and forty-eight skewers daily would 
be obtained. Allowing that, of these sixty 
two thousand seven hundred and forty-eight 
skewers, the odd two thousand seven hundred 
and forty-eight were accidentally devoured 
with the meat, by the most voracious of the 
animals supplied, it followed that sixty thou- 
sand skewers per day, or the enormous num- 
ber of twenty-one millions nine hundred 
thousand skewers annually, were wasted in 
the kennels and dustholes of London ; which, 
if collected and warehoused, would in ten 
years' time afford a mass of timber more than 

90 Report of the First Meeting 

sufficient for the construction of a first-rate 
vessel of war for the use of her Majesty's 
navy, to be called ' The Royal Skewer/ and 
to become under that name the terror of all 
the enemies of this island. 

" Mr. X. Ledbrain read a very ingenious 
communication, from which it appeared that 
the total number of legs belonging to the 
manufacturing population of one great town 
in Yorkshire was, in round numbers, forty 
thousand, while the total number of chair and 
stool legs in their houses was only thirty 
thousand, which, upon the very favourable 
average of three legs to a seat, yielded only 
ten thousand seats in all. From this calcula- 
tion it would appear, — not taking wooden or 
cork legs into the account, but allowing two 
legs to every person, — that ten thousand 
individuals (one-half of the whole population) 
were either destitute of any rest for their 
legs at all, or passed the whole of their leisure 
time in sitting upon boxes. 

of the Mudfog Association. 91 

" Section D.— Mechanical Science. 


President— Mr. Carter. Vice-Presidents— Mr. Truck 
and Mr. Waghorn. 

" Professor Queerspeck exhibited an 
elegant model of a portable railway, neatly 
mounted in a green case, for the waistcoat 
pocket. By attaching this beautiful instru- 
ment to his boots, any Bank or public-office 
clerk could transport himself from his place 
of residence to his place of business, at the 
easy rate of sixty-five miles an hour, which, 
to gentlemen of sedentary pursuits, would be 
an incalculable advantage. 

" The President was desirous of knowing 
whether it was necessary to have a level 
surface on which the gentleman was to run. 

" Professor Queerspeck explained that 
City gentlemen would run in trains, being 
handcuffed together to prevent confusion or 
unpleasantness. For instance, trains would 
start every morning at eight, nine, and ten 

92 Report of the First Meeting 

o'clock, from Camden Town, Islington, 
Camberwell, Hackney, and various other 
places in which City gentlemen are accus- 
tomed to reside. It would be necessary to 
have a level, but he had provided for this 
difficulty by proposing that the best line that 
the circumstances would admit of, should be 
taken through the sewers which undermine 
the streets of the metropolis, and which, well 
lighted by jets from the gas pipes which run 
immediately above them, would form a 
pleasant and commodious arcade, especially 
in winter-time, when the inconvenient custom 
of carrying umbrellas, now so general, could 
be wholly dispensed with. In reply to 
another question, Professor Queerspeck stated 
that no substitute for the purposes to which 
these arcades were at present devoted had 
yet occurred to him, but that he hoped no fan- 
ciful objection on this head would be allowed 
to interfere with so great an undertaking. 

" Mr. Jobba produced a forcing-machine 
on a novel plan, for bringing joint-stock 

of the Mud fog Association. 

railway shares prematurely to a premium. 
The instrument was in the form of an elegant 
gilt weather-glass, of most dazzling appear- 
ance, and was worked behind, by strings, 
after the manner of a pantomime trick, the 
strings being always pulled by the directors 
of the company to which the machine be- 
longed. The quicksilver was so ingeniously 
placed, that when the acting directors held 
shares in their pockets, figures denoting very 
small expenses and very large returns ap- 
peared upon the glass ; but the moment the 
directors parted with these pieces of paper, 
the estimate of needful expenditure suddenly 
increased itself to an immense extent, while 
the statements of certain profits became 
reduced in the same proportion. Mr. Jobba 
stated that the machine had been in constant 
requisition for some months past, and he had 
never once known it to fail, 

11 A Member expressed his opinion that 
it was extremely neat and pretty. He 
wished to know whether it was not liable to 

94 Report of the First Meeting 

accidental derangement ? Mr. Jobba said 
that the whole machine was undoubtedly 
liable to be blown up, but that was the only- 
objection to it, 

" Professor Nogo arrived from the 
anatomical section to exhibit a model of a 
safety fire-escape, which could be fixed at 
any time, in less than half an hour, and by 
means of which, the youngest or most infirm 
persons (successfully resisting the progress 
of the flames until it was quite ready) could 
be preserved if they merely balanced them- 
selves for a few minutes on the sill of their 
bed-room window, and got into the escape 
without falling into the street. The Pro- 
fessor stated that the number of boys who 
had been rescued in the daytime by this 
machine from houses which were not on fire, 
was almost incredible. Not a conflagration 
had occurred in the whole of London for 
many months past to which the escape had 
not been carried on the very next day, and 
put in action before a concourse of persons. 

of the Mudfog Association. 95 

" The President inquired whether there 
was not some difficulty in ascertaining which 
was the top of the machine, and which the 
bottom, in cases of pressing emergency. 

" Professor Nogo explained that of 
course it could not be expected to act quite 
as well when there was a fire, as when there 
was not a fire ; but in the former case he 
thought it would be of equal service whether 
the top were up or down." 

With the last section our correspondent 
concludes his most able and faithful Report, 
which will never cease to reflect credit upon 
him for his scientific attainments, and upon 
us for our enterprising spirit. It is needless 
to take a review of the subjects which have 
been discussed ; of the mode in which they 
have been examined ; of the great truths 
which they have elicited. They are now 
before the world, and we leave them to read, 
to consider, and to profit. 

The place of meeting for next year has 

96 Report of the First Meeting. 

undergone discussion, and has at length been 
decided, regard being had to, and evidence 
being taken upon, the goodness of its wines, 
the supply of its markets, the hospitality of 
its inhabitants, and the quality of its hotels. 
We hope at this next meeting our correspon- 
dent may again be present, and that we may 
be once more the means of placing his com- 
munications before the world. Until that 
period we have been prevailed upon to allow 
this number of our Miscellany to be retailed 
to the public, or wholesaled to the trade, 
without any advance upon our usual price. 

We have only to add, that the com- 
mittees are now broken up, and that Mudfog 
is once again restored to its accustomed 
tranquillity, — that Professors and Members 
have had balls, and soirdes, and suppers, and 
great mutual complimentations, and have at 
length dispersed to their several homes, — 
whither all good wishes and joys attend them, 
until next year ! Signed Boz. 




In October last, we did ourselves the immor- 
tal credit of recording, at an enormous ex- 
pense, and by dint of exertions unparalleled 
in the history of periodical publication, the 
proceedings of the Mudfog Association for 
the Advancement of Everything, which in 
that month held its first great half-yearly 
meeting, to the wonder and delight of the 
whole empire. We announced at the con- 
clusion of that extraordinary and most re- 
markable Report, that when the Second 
Meeting of the Society should take place, we 
should be found again at our post, renewing 
our gigantic and spirited endeavours, and 
once more making the world ring with the 


98 Report of the Second Meeting 

accuracy, authenticity, immeasurable superi- 
ority, and intense remarkability of our account 
of its proceedings. In redemption of this 
pledge, we caused to be despatched per steam 
to Oldcastle (at which place this second 
meeting of the Society was held on the 20th 
instant), the same superhumanly-endowed 
gentleman who furnished the former report, 
and who, — gifted by nature with transcendent 
abilities, and furnished by us with a body of 
assistants scarcely inferior to himself, — has 
forwarded a series of letters, which, for faith- 
fulness of description, power of language, 
fervour of thought, happiness of expression, 
and importance of subject-matter, have no 
equal in the epistolary literature of any age 
or country. We give this gentleman's cor- 
respondence entire, and in the order in which 
it reached our office. 

" Saloon of Steamer , Thursday night, half -past eight. 
" When I left New Burlington Street this 
evening in the hackney cabriolet, number 

of the Mudfog Association. 99 

four thousand two hundred and eighty-five, 
I experienced sensations as novel as they 
were oppressive. A sense of the importance 
of the task I had undertaken, a consciousness 
that I was leaving London, and, stranger 
still, going somewhere else, a feeling of lone- 
liness and a sensation of jolting, quite be- 
wildered my thoughts, and for a time ren- 
dered me even insensible to the presence of 
my carpet-bag and hat-box. I shall ever feel 
grateful to the driver of a Blackwall omnibus 
who, by thrusting the pole of his vehicle 
through the small door of the cabriolet, 
awakened me from a tumult of imaginings 
that are wholly indescribable. But of such 
materials is our imperfect nature composed ! 

" I am happy to say that I am the first 
passenger on board, and shall thus be enabled 
to give you an account of all that happens in 
the order of its occurrence. The chimney is 
smoking a good deal, and so are the crew ; 
and the captain, I am informed, is very drunk 

ioo Report of the Second Meeting 

in a little house upon deck, something like 
a black turnpike. I should infer from all I 
hear that he has got the steam up. 

" You will readily guess with what feel- 
ings I have just made the discovery that my 
berth is in the same closet with those engaged 
by Professor Woodensconce, Mr. Slug, and 
Professor Grime. Professor Woodensconce 
has taken the shelf above me, and Mr. Slug 
and Professor Grime the two shelves oppo- 
site. Their luggage has already arrived. On 
Mr. Slug's bed is a long tin tube of about 
three inches in diameter, carefully closed at 
both ends. What can this contain ? Some 
powerful instrument of a new construction, 

" Ten minutes past nine. 

" Nobody has yet arrived, nor has any- 
thing fresh come in my way except several 
joints of beef and mutton, from which I con- 
clude that a good plain dinner has been pro- 
vided for to-morrow. There is a singular 

of the Mudfog Association. 101 

smell below, which gave me some uneasiness 
at first ; but as the steward says it is always 
there, and never goes away, ili«?di "quite cpfrii- 
fortable again. I learn /from jth$3- man ■ h^-; 
the different sections wii'l be ' distributed at 
the Black Boy and Stomach-ache, and the 
Boot-jack and Countenance. If this intelli- 
gence be true (and I have no reason to doubt 
it), your readers will draw such conclusions 
as their different opinions may suggest. 

" I write down these remarks as they 
occur to me, or as the facts come to my 
knowledge, in order that my first impressions 
may lose nothing of their original vividness. 
I shall despatch them in small packets as 
opportunities arise. ,, 

" Half -past nine. 

" Some dark object has just appeared 
upon the wharf. I think it is a travelling 
carriage ." 

" A quarter to ten. 

" No, it isn't." 

102 Report of the Second Meeting 

" Half-past ten. 

'-' u Tj if- passengers are pouring in every 
instant -Four omnibuses full have just arrived 
upon the wharf, and all is bustle and activity. 
The noise and confusion are very great. 
Cloths are laid in the cabins, and the steward 
is placing blue plates-full of knobs of cheese 
at equal distances down the centre of the 
tables. He drops a great many knobs ; but, 
being used to it, picks them up again with 
great dexterity, and, after wiping them on his 
sleeve, throws them back into the plates. 
He is a young man of exceedingly prepos- 
sessing appearance — either dirty or a mulatto, 
but I think the former. 

" An interesting old gentleman, who came 
to the wharf in an omnibus, has just quar- 
relled violently with the porters, and is 
staggering towards the vessel with a large 
trunk in his arms. I trust and hope that he 
may reach it in safety ; but the board he has 

of the Mtidfog Association. 103 

to cross is narrow and slippery. Was that a 
splash ? Gracious powers ! 

11 1 have just returned from the deck. The 
trunk is standing upon the extreme brink of 
the wharf, but the old gentleman is nowhere 
to be seen. The watchman is not sure whe- 
ther he went down or not, but promises to 
drag for him the first thing to-morrow morn- 
ing. May his humane efforts prove successful ! 

" Professor Nogo has this moment arrived 
with his nightcap on under his hat. He has 
ordered a glass of cold brandy and water, 
with a hard biscuit and a bason, and has gone 
straight to bed. What can this mean ? 

" The three other scientific gentlemen to 
whom I have already alluded have come on 
board, and have all tried their beds, with the 
exception of Professor Woodensconce, who 
sleeps in one of the top ones, and cant get 
into it. Mr. Slug, who sleeps in the other 
top one, is unable to get out of his, and is to 
have his supper handed up by a boy. I 

1 04 Report of the Second Meeting 

have had the honour to introduce myself to 
these gentlemen, and we have amicably 
arranged the order in which we shall retire 
to rest ; which it is necessary to agree upon, 
because, although the cabin is very comfort- 
able, there is not room for more than one 
gentleman to be out of bed at a time, and 
even he must take his boots off in the passage. 
" As I anticipated, the knobs of cheese 
were provided for the passengers' supper, and 
are now in course of consumption. Your 
readers will be surprised to hear that Pro- 
fessor Woodensconce has abstained from 
cheese for eight years, although he takes 
butter in considerable quantities. Professor 
Grime having lost several teeth, is unable, I 
observe, to eat his crusts without previously 
soaking them in his bottled porter. How 
interesting are these peculiarities ! " 

" Half -past eleven. 

" Professors Woodensconce and Grime, 
with a degree of good humour that delights 

of the Mudfog Association. 105 

us all, have just arranged to toss for a bottle 
of mulled port. There has been some discus- 
sion whether the payment should be decided 
by the first toss or the best out of three. 
Eventually the latter course has been deter- 
mined on. Deeply do I wish that both gen- 
tlemen could win ; but that being impossible, 
I own that my personal aspirations (I speak 
as an individual, and do not compromise 
either you or your readers by this expression 
of feeling) are with Professor Woodensconce. 
I have backed that gentleman to the amount 
of eighteenpence." 

" Twenty minutes to twelve. 

11 Professor Grime has inadvertently 
tossed his half-crown out of one of the cabin- 
windows, and it has been arranged that the 
steward shall toss for him. Bets are offered 
on any side to any amount, but there are no 

i] Professor Woodensconce has just called 
1 woman ;' but the coin having lodged in a 

1 06 Report of the Second Meeting 

beam, is a long time coming down again. 
The interest and suspense of this one mo- 
ment are beyond anything that can be ima- 

" Twelve o'clock. 

" The mulled port is smoking on the table 
before me, and Professor Grime has won. 
Tossing is a game of chance ; but on every 
ground, whether of public or private cha- 
racter, intellectual endowments, or scientific 
attainments, I cannot help expressing my 
opinion that Professor Woodensconce ought to 
have come off victorious. There is an exul- 
tation about Professor Grime incompatible, I 
fear, with true greatness." 

" A quarter past twelve. 

" Professor Grime continues to exult, 
and to boast of his victory in no very mea- 
sured terms, observing that he always does 
win, and that he knew it would be a ' head ' 
beforehand, with many other remarks of a 
similar nature. Surely this gentleman is not 

of the Mudfog Association. 107 

so lost to every feeling of decency and pro- 
priety as not to feel and know the superiority 
of Professor Woodensconce ? Is Professor 
Grime insane ? or does he wish to be re- 
minded in plain language of his true 'position 
in society, and the precise level of his acquire- 
ments and abilities ? Professor Grime will 
do well to look to this." 

" One o'clock. 
" I am writing in bed. The small cabin 
is illuminated by the feeble light of a flicker- 
ing lamp suspended from the ceiling; Pro- 
fessor Grime is lying on the opposite shelf 
on the broad of his back, with his mouth wide 
open. The scene is indescribably solemn. 
The rippling of the tide, the noise of the 
sailors' feet overhead, the gruff voices on the 
river, the dogs on the shore, the snoring of 
the passengers, and a constant creaking of 
every plank in the vessel, are the only sounds 
that meet the ear. With these exceptions, 
all is profound silence. 

108 Report of the Second Meeting 

" My curiosity has been within the last 
moment very much excited. Mr. Slug, who 
lies above Professor Grime, has cautiously 
withdrawn the curtains of his berth, and, 
after looking anxiously out, as if to satisfy 
himself that his companions are asleep, has 
taken up the tin tube of which I have before 
spoken, and is regarding it with great interest. 
What rare mechanical combination can be 
contained in that mysterious case ? It is evi- 
dently a profound secret to all." 

" A quarter past one. 

" The behaviour of Mr. Slug grows more 
and more mysterious. He has unscrewed 
the top of the tube, and now renews his 
observations upon his companions, evidently 
to make sure that he is wholly unobserved. 
He is clearly on the eve of some great ex- 
periment. Pray heaven that it be not a 
dangerous one ; but the interests of science 
must be promoted, and I am prepared for the 

of the Mudfog Association. 109 

" Five minutes later. 

" He has produced a large pair of scissors, 
and drawn a roll of some substance, not un- 
like parchment in appearance, from the tin 
case. The experiment is about to begin. I 
must strain my eyes to the utmost, in the 
attempt to follow its minutest operation." 
" Twenty minutes before two. 

" I have at length been enabled to ascer- 
tain that the tin tube contains a few yards of 
some celebrated plaster, recommended — as I 
discover on regarding the label attentively 
through my eye-glass- — as a preservative 
against sea-sickness. Mr. Slug has cut it up 
into small portions, and is now sticking it 
over himself in every direction." 

" Three o'clock. 

" Precisely a quarter of an hour ago we 
weighed anchor, and the machinery was sud- 
denly put in motion with a noise so appalling, 
that Professor Woodensconce (who had as- 
cended to his berth by means of a platform 

1 10 Report of the Second Meeting 

of carpet bags arranged by himself on geo- 
metrical principles) darted from his shelf head 
foremost, and, gaining his feet with all the 
rapidity of extreme terror, ran wildly into 
the ladies' cabin, under the impression that 
we were sinking, and uttering loud cries for 
aid. I am assured that the scene which en- 
sued baffles all description. There were one 
hundred and forty-seven ladies in their re- 
spective berths at the time. 

" Mr. Slug has remarked, as an additional 
instance of the extreme ingenuity of the 
steam-engine as applied to purposes of navi- 
gation, that in whatever part of the vessel a 
passenger's berth may be situated, the machi- 
nery always appears to be exactly under his 
pillow. He intends stating this very beauti- 
ful, though simple discovery, to the associa- 

" Half-past three. 

" We are still in smooth water ; that is to 
say, in as smooth water as a steam-vessel ever 

of the Mudfog Association. 1 1 1 

can be, for, as Professor Woodensconce (who 
has just woke up) learnedly remarks, another 
great point of ingenuity about a steamer is, 
that it always carries a little storm with it. 
You can scarcely conceive how exciting the 
jerking pulsation of the ship becomes. It is 
a matter of positive difficulty to get to sleep." 
" Friday afternoon, six o'clock. 

" I regret to inform you that Mr. Slugs 
plaster has proved of no avail. He is in 
great agony, but has applied several large, 
additional pieces notwithstanding. How T af- 
fecting is this extreme devotion to science 
and pursuit of knowledge under the most 
trying circumstances ! 

" We were extremely happy this morn- 
ing, and the breakfast was one of the most 
animated description. Nothing unpleasant 
occurred until noon, with the exception of 
Doctor Foxey s brown silk umbrella and 
white hat becoming entangled in the machi- 
nery while he was explaining to a knot of 

H2 Report of the Second Meeting 

ladies the construction of the steam-engine. 
I fear the gravy soup for lunch was injudi- 
cious. We lost a great many passengers 
almost immediately afterwards." 

" Half -past six. 

" I am again in bed. Anything so heart- 
rending as Mr. Slug s sufferings it has never 
yet been my lot to witness." 

" Seven d clock. 

"A messenger has just come down for 
a clean pocket-handkerchief from Professor 
Woodensconce s bag, that unfortunate gentle- 
man being quite unable to leave the deck, 
and imploring constantly to be thrown over- 
board. From this man I understand that 
Professor Nogo, though in a state of utter 
exhaustion, clings feebly to the hard biscuit 
and cold brandy and water, under the impres- 
sion that they will yet restore him. Such is 
the triumph of mind over matter. 

" Professor Grime is in bed, to all appear- 
ance quite well ; but he will eat, and it is 

of the Mudfog Association. 113 

disagreeable to see him. Has this gentleman 
no sympathy with the sufferings of his fellow- 
creatures ? If he has, on what principle can 
he call for mutton-chops — and smile ? " 

" Black Boy and Stomach-ache ', 

Oldcastle, Saturday noon. 

" You will be happy to learn that I have 
at length arrived here in safety. The town 
is excessively crowded, and all the private 
lodgings and hotels are filled with savans of 
both sexes. The tremendous assemblage of 
intellect that one encounters in every street 
is in the last degree overwhelming. 

" Notwithstanding the throng of people 

here, I have been fortunate enough to meet 

with very comfortable accommodation on 

very reasonable terms, having secured a sofa 

in the first-floor passage at one guinea per 

night, which includes permission to take my 

meals in the bar, on condition that I walk 

about the streets at all other times, to make 

room for other gentlemen similarly situated. 


H4 Report of the Second Meeting 

I have been over the outhouses intended to 
be devoted to the reception of the various 
sections, both here and at the Boot-jack and 
Countenance, and am much delighted with 
the arrangements. Nothing can exceed the 
fresh appearance of the saw-dust with which 
the floors are sprinkled. The forms are of 
unplaned deal, and the general effect, as you ' 
can well imagine, is extremely beautiful." 

" Half -past nine. 

" The number and rapidity of the arrivals 

are quite bewildering. Within the last ten 

minutes a stage-coach has driven up to the 

door, filled inside and out with distinguished 

characters, comprising Mr. Muddlebranes, 

Mr. Drawley, Professor Muff, Mr. X. Misty, 

Mr. X. X. Misty, Mr. Purblind, Professor 

Rummun, The Honourable and Reverend 

Mr. Long Eers, Professor John Ketch, Sir 

William Joltered, Doctor Buffer, Mr. Smith 

(of London), Mr. Brown (of Edinburgh), Sir 

Hookham Snivey, and Professor Pumpkin- 

of the Mudfog Association. 115 

skull. The ten last-named gentlemen were wet 
through, and looked extremely intelligent." 

" Sunday, two d clock, p.m. 

" The Honourable and Reverend Mr. 
Long Eers, accompanied by Sir William 
Joltered, walked and drove this morning. 
They accomplished the former feat in boots, 
and the latter in a hired fly. This has natu- 
rally given rise to much discussion. 

" I have just learnt that an interview has 
taken place at the Boot-jack and Countenance 
between Sowster, the active and intelligent 
beadle of this place, and Professor Pumpkin- 
skull, who, as your readers are doubtless 
aware, is an influential member of the council. 
I forbear to communicate any of the rumours 
to which this very extraordinary proceeding 
has given rise until I have seen Sowster, and 
endeavoured to ascertain the truth from him." 

" Half -past six. 

" I engaged a donkey-chaise shortly 
after writing the above, and proceeded at a 

1 1 6 Report of the Second Meeting 

brisk trot in the direction of Sowster's resi- 
dence, passing through a beautiful expanse 
of country, with red brick buildings on 
either side, and stopping in the market- 
place to observe the spot where Mr. Kwak- 
ley's hat was blown off yesterday. It is an 
uneven piece of paving, but has certainly no 
appearance which would lead one to suppose 
that any such event had recently occurred 
there. From this point I proceeded — passing 
the gas-works and tallow-melter's — to a lane 
which had been pointed out to me as the 
beadle's place of residence ; and before I had 
driven a dozen yards further, I had the good 
fortune to meet Sowster himself advancing 
towards me. 

" Sowster is a fat man, with a more en- 
larged development of that peculiar confor- 
mation of countenance which is vulgarly 
termed a double chin than I remember to 
have ever seen before. He has also a very 
red nose, which he attributes to a habit of 

of the Mudfog Association. 117 

early rising — so red, indeed, that but for this 
explanation I should have supposed it to 
proceed from occasional inebriety. He in- 
formed me that he did not feel himself at 
liberty to relate what had passed between 
himself and Professor Pumpkinskull, but had 
no objection to state that it was connected 
with a matter of police regulation, and added 
with peculiar significance ' Never wos sitch 
times ! ' 

" You will easily believe that this intelli- 
gence gave me considerable surprise, not 
wholly unmixed with anxiety, and that I lost 
no time in waiting on Professor Pumpkin- 
skull, and stating the object of my visit. 
After a few moments' reflection, the Professor, 
who, I am bound to say, behaved with the 
utmost politeness, openly avowed (I mark 
the passage in italics) that he had requested 
Sowster to attend on the Monday morning at 
the Boot-jack and Countenance, to keep off the 
boys ; and that he had further desired that the 

1 1 8 Report of the Second Meeting 

under-beadle might be stationed, with the same 
object, at the Black Boy and Stomach-ache ! 

" Now I leave this unconstitutional pro- 
ceeding to your comments and the considera- 
tion of your readers. I have yet to learn 
that a beadle, without the precincts of a 
church, churchyard, or workhouse, and acting 
otherwise than under the express orders 
of churchwardens and overseers in council 
assembled, to enforce the law against people 
who come upon the parish, and other offen- 
ders, has any lawful authority whatever over 
the rising youth of this country. I have yet 
to learn that a beadle can be called out by 
any civilian to exercise a domination and 
despotism over the boys of Britain. I have 
yet to learn that a beadle will be permitted 
by the commissioners of poor law regulation 
to wear out the soles and heels of his boots 
in illegal interference with the liberties of 
people not proved poor or otherwise criminal. 
I have yet to learn that a beadle has power 

of the Mudfog Association. 119 

to stop up the Queen's highway at his will 
and pleasure, or that the whole width of the 
street is not free and open to any man, boy, 
or woman in existence, up to the very walls 
of the houses — ay, be they Black Boys and 
Stornach-aches, or Boot-jacks and Counte- 
nances, I care not." 

"Nine o'clock. 

" I have procured a local artist to make a 
faithful sketch of the tyrant Sowster, which, 
as he has acquired this infamous celebrity, 
you will no doubt wish to have engraved for 
the purpose of presenting a copy with every 
copy of your next number. I enclose it. 
The under-beadle has consented to write his 
life, but it is to be strictly anonymous. 

" The accompanying likeness is of course 
from the life, and complete in every respect. 
Even if I had been totally ignorant of the 
man's real character, and it had been placed 
before me without remark, I should have 
shuddered involuntarily. There is an intense 

1 20 Report of the Second Meeting 

malignity of expression in the features, and 
a baleful ferocity of purpose in the ruffian's 
eye, which appals and sickens. His whole air 
is rampant with cruelty, nor is the stomach less 
characteristic of his demoniac propensities." 

" Monday. 
" The great day has at length arrived. I 
have neither eyes, nor ears, nor pens, nor ink, 
nor paper, for anything but the wonderful 
proceedings that have astounded my senses. 
Let me collect my energies and proceed to 
the account. 

" Section A.— Zoology and Botany. 


President— Six William Joltered. Vice-Presidents — Mr. 
Muddlebranes and Mr. Drawley. 

" Mr. X. X. Misty communicated some 
remarks on the disappearance of dancing 
bears from the streets of London, with obser- 
vations on the exhibition of monkeys as 
connected with barrel-organs. The writer 
had observed, with feelings of the utmost 

Thv Tyrant SowSter % 

of the Mudfog Association. 1 23 

pain and regret, that some years ago a sud- 
den and unaccountable change in the public 
taste took place with reference to itinerant 
bears, who, being discountenanced by the 
populace, gradually fell off one by one from 
the streets of the metropolis, until not one 
remained to create a taste for natural history 
in the breasts of the poor and uninstructed. 
One bear, indeed, — a brown and ragged 
animal, — had lingered about the haunts of 
his former triumphs, with a worn and dejected 
visage and feeble limbs, and had essayed to 
wield his quarter-staff for the amusement of 
the multitude ; but hunger, and an utter want 
of any due recompense for his abilities, had 
at length driven him from the field, and it 
was only too probable that he had fallen a 
sacrifice to the rising taste for grease. He 
regretted to add that a similar, and no less 
lamentable, change had taken place with 
reference to monkeys. These delightful 
animals had formerly been almost as plentiful 

124 Report of the Second Meeting 

as the organs on the tops of which they were 
accustomed to sit ; the proportion in the year 
1829 (it appeared by the parliamentary return) 
being as one monkey to three organs. Owing, 
however, to an altered taste in musical in- 
struments, and the substitution, in a great 
measure, of narrow boxes of music for organs, 
which left the monkeys nothing to sit upon, 
this source of public amusement was wholly 
dried up. Considering it a matter of the 
deepest importance, in connection with 
national education, that the people should 
not lose such opportunities of making them- 
selves acquainted with the manners and 
customs of two most interesting species of 
animals, the author submitted that some 
measures should be immediately taken for 
the restoration of these pleasing and truly 
intellectual amusements. 

" The President inquired by what means 
the honourable member proposed to attain 
this most desirable end ? 

of the Mudfog Association. 125 

" The Author submitted that it could be 
most fully and satisfactorily accomplished, if 
Her Majesty's Government would cause to 
be brought over to England, and maintained 
at the public expense, and for the public 
amusement, such a number of bears as would 
enable every quarter of the town to be visited 
— say at least by three bears a week. No 
difficulty whatever need be experienced in 
providing a fitting place for the reception of 
these animals, as a commodious bear-garden 
could be erected in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of both Houses of Parliament ; obvi- 
ously the most proper and eligible spot for 
such an establishment. 

" Professor Mull doubted very much 
whether any correct ideas of natural history 
were propagated by the means to which the 
honourable member had so ably adverted. 
On the contrary, he believed that they had 
been the means of diffusing very incorrect 
and imperfect notions on the subject. He 

126 Report of the Second Meeting 

spoke from personal observation and personal 
experience, when he said that many children 
of great abilities had been induced to believe, 
from what they had observed in the streets, 
at and before the period to which the honour- 
able gentleman had referred, that all monkeys 
were born in red coats and spangles, and that 
their hats and feathers also came by nature. 
He wished to know distinctly whether the 
honourable gentleman attributed the want of 
encouragement the bears had met with to the 
decline of public taste in that respect, or to 
a want of ability on the part of the bears 
themselves ? 

" Mr. X. X. Misty replied, that he could 
not bring himself to believe but that there 
must be a great deal of floating talent among 
the bears and monkeys generally ; which, in 
the absence of any proper encouragement, 
was dispersed in other directions. 

" Professor Pumpkinskull wished to 
take that opportunity of calling the attention 

of the Mudfog Association. 1 2 7 

of the section to a most important and serious 
point. The author of the treatise just read 
had alluded to the prevalent taste for bears'- 
grease as a means of promoting the growth 
of hair, which undoubtedly was diffused to a 
very great and (as it appeared to him) very 
alarming extent. No gentleman attending 
that section could fail to be aware of the fact 
that the youth of the present age evinced, by 
their behaviour in the streets, and at all places 
of public resort, a considerable lack of that 
gallantry and gentlemanly feeling which, in 
more ignorant times, had been thought be- 
coming. He wished to know whether it 
were possible that a constant outward appli- 
cation of bears '-grease by the young gentle- 
men about town had imperceptibly infused 
into those unhappy persons something of the 
nature and quality of the bear. He shud- 
dered as he threw out the remark ; but if 
this theory, on inquiry, should prove to be 
well-founded, it would at once explain a great 

128 Report of the Second Meeting 

deal of unpleasant eccentricity of behaviour, 
which, without some such discovery, was 
wholly unaccountable. 

"The President highly complimented 
the learned gentleman on his most valuable 
suggestion, which produced the greatest effect 
upon the assembly ; and remarked that only 
a week previous he had seen some young 
gentlemen at a theatre eyeing a box of ladies 
with a fierce intensity, which nothing but 
the influence of some brutish appetite could 
possibly explain. It was dreadful to reflect 
that our youth were so rapidly verging into a 
generation of bears. 

" After a scene of scientific enthusiasm it 
was resolved that this important question 
should be immediately submitted to the con- 
sideration of the council. 

" The President wished to know whe- 
ther any gentleman could inform the section 
what had become of the dancing- dogs ? 

" A Member replied, after some hesit^- 

of the Mudfog Association. 129 

tion, that on the day after three glee-singers 
had been committed to prison as criminals 
by a late most zealous police-magistrate of 
the metropolis, the dogs had abandoned their 
professional duties, and dispersed themselves 
in different quarters of the town to gain a 
livelihood by less dangerous means. He 
was given to understand that since that 
period they had supported themselves by 
lying in wait for and robbing blind mens 

" Mr. Flummery exhibited a twig, claim- 
ing to be a veritable branch of that noble 
tree known to naturalists as the Shak- 
speare, which has taken root in every land 
and climate, and gathered under the shade of 
its broad green boughs the great family of 
mankind. The learned gentleman remarked 
that the twig had been undoubtedly called by 
other names in its time ; but that it had been 
pointed out to him by an old lady in 
Warwickshire, where the great tree had 


1 30 Report of the Second Meeting 

grown, as a shoot of the genuine Shakspeare, 
by which name he begged to introduce it to 
his countrymen. 

" The President wished to know what 
botanical definition the honourable gentleman 
could afford of the curiosity. 

" Mr. Flummery expressed his opinion 
that it was a decided plant. 

" Section B. — Display of Models and Mechanical 

large room, boot-jack and countenance. 

President — Mr. Mallett. Vice-Presidents — Messrs. Leaver 
and Scroo. 

" Mr. Crinkles exhibited a most beauti- 
ful and delicate machine, of little larger size 
than an ordinary snuff-box, manufactured 
entirely by himself, and composed exclusively 
of steel, by the aid of which more pockets 
could be picked in one hour than by the pre- 
sent slow and tedious process in four-and- 
twenty. The inventor remarked that it had 
been put into active operation in Fleet Street, 

of the Mudfog Association. 131 

the Strand, and other thoroughfares, and had 
never been once known to fail. 

" After some slight delay, occasioned by 
the various members of the section buttoning 
their pockets, 

" The President narrowly inspected the 
invention, and declared that he had never 
seen a machine of more beautiful or exquisite 
construction. Would the inventor be good 
enough to inform the section whether he had 
taken any and what means for bringing it 
into general operation ? 

" Mr. Crinkles stated that, after en- 
countering some preliminary difficulties, he 
had succeeded in putting himself in communi- 
cation with Mr. Fogle Hunter, and other 
gentlemen connected with the swell mob, 
who had awarded the invention the very 
highest and most unqualified approbation. 
He regretted to say, however, that these dis- 
tinguished practitioners, in common with a 
gentleman of the name of Gimlet-eyed 

132 Report of the Second Meeting 

Tommy, and other members of a secondary 
grade of the profession whom he was under- 
stood to represent, entertained an insuperable 
objection to its being brought into general 
use, on the ground that it would have the 
inevitable effect of almost entirely super- 
seding manual labour, and throwing a great 
number of highly-deserving persons out of 

" The President hoped that no such 
fanciful objections would be allowed to stand 
in the way of such a great public improve- 

" Mr. Crinkles hoped so too ; but he 
feared that if the gentlemen of the swell 
mob persevered in their objection, nothing 
could be done. 

" Professor Grime suggested, that surely, 
in that case, Her Majesty's government 
might be prevailed upon to take it up. 

" Mr. Crinkles said, that if the objection 
were found to be insuperable he should apply 

of the Mudfog Association. 133 

to parliament, which he thought could not 
fail to recognise the utility of the invention. 

" The President observed that, up to 
this time parliament had certainly got on 
very well without it ; but, as they did their 
business on a very large scale, he had no 
doubt they would gladly adopt the improve- 
ment. His only fear was that the machine 
might be worn out by constant working. 

" Mr. Coppernose called the attention of 
the section to a proposition of great magni- 
tude and interest, illustrated by a vast num- 
ber of models, and stated with much clearness 
and perspicuity in a treatise entitled ' Practical 
Suggestions on the necessity of providing 
some harmless and wholesome relaxation for 
the young noblemen of England/ His pro- 
position was, that a space of ground of not 
less than ten miles in length and four in 
breadth should be purchased by a new com- 
pany, to be incorporated by Act of Parlia- 
ment, and inclosed by a brick wall of not less 

134 Report of the Second Meeting 

than twelve feet in height. He proposed 
that it should be laid out with highway roads, 
turnpikes, bridges, miniature villages, and 
every object that could conduce to the com- 
fort and glory of Four-in-hand Clubs, so that 
they might be fairly presumed to require no 
drive beyond it This delightful retreat 
would be fitted up with most commodious 
and extensive stables, for the convenience of 
such of the nobility and gentry as had a taste 
for ostlering, and with houses of entertain- 
ment furnished in the most expensive and 
handsome style. It would be further pro- 
vided with whole streets of door-knockers 
and bell-handles of extra size, so constructed 
that they could be easily wrenched off at 
night, and regularly screwed on again, by 
attendants provided for the purpose, every 
day. There would also be gas lamps of real 
glass, which could be broken at a compara- 
tively small expense per dozen, and a broad 
and handsome foot pavement for gentlemen 

of the Mudfog Association. 135 

to drive their cabriolets upon when they were 
humorously disposed — for the full enjoyment 
of which feat live pedestrians would be pro- 
cured from the workhouse at a very small 
charge per head. The place being inclosed, 
and carefully screened from the intrusion of 
the public, there would be no objection to 
gentlemen laying aside any article of their 
costume that was considered to interfere with 
a pleasant frolic, or, indeed, to their walking 
about without any costume at all, if they liked 
that better. In short, every facility of enjoy- 
ment would be afforded that the most gentle- 
manly person could possibly desire. But as 
even these advantages would be incomplete 
unless there were some means provided of 
enabling the nobility and gentry to display 
their prowess when they sallied forth after 
dinner, and as some inconvenience might be 
experienced in the event of their being 
reduced tp the necessity of pummelling each 
other, the inventor had turned his attention 

136 Report of the Second Meeting 

to the construction of an entirely new police 
force, composed exclusively of automaton 
figures, which, with the assistance of the 
ingenious Signor Gagliardi, of Windmill- 
street, in the Haymarket, he had succeeded 
in making with such nicety, that a policeman, 
cab-driver, or old woman, made upon the 
principle of the models exhibited, would walk 
about until knocked down like any real man ; 
nay, more, if set upon and beaten by six or 
eight noblemen or gentlemen, after it was 
down, the figure would utter divers groans, 
mingled with entreaties for mercy, thus 
rendering the illusion complete, and the 
enjoyment perfect. But the invention did 
not stop even here ; for station-houses would 
be built, containing good beds for noblemen 
and gentlemen during the night, and in the 
morning they would repair to a commodious 
police office, where a pantomimic investiga- 
tion would take place before the automaton 
magistrates, — quite equal to life, — who would 

of the Mudfog Association. 1 3 7 

fine them in so many counters, with which 
they would be previously provided for the 
purpose. This office would be furnished 
with an inclined plane, for the convenience of 
any nobleman or gentleman who might wish 
to bring in his horse as a witness ; and the 
prisoners would be at perfect liberty, as they 
were now, to interrupt the complainants as 
much as they pleased, and to make any 
remarks that they thought proper. The 
charge for these amusements would amount 
to very little more than they already cost, 
and the inventor submitted that the public 
would be much benefited and comforted by 
the proposed arrangement. 

" Professor Nogo wished to be informed 
what amount of automaton police force it was 
proposed to raise in the first instance. 

" Mr. Coppernose replied, that it was 
proposed to begin with seven divisions of 
police of a score each, lettered from A to G 
inclusive. It was proposed that not more 

1 38 Report of the Second Meeting 

than half this number should be placed on 
active duty, and that the remainder should be 
kept on shelves in the police office ready to 
be called out at a moment's notice. 

" The President, awarding the utmost 
merit to the ingenious gentleman who had 
originated the idea, doubted whether the 
automaton police would quite answer the 
purpose. He feared that noblemen and 
gentlemen would perhaps require the excite- 
ment of threshing living subjects. 

" Mr. Coppernose submitted, that as the 
usual odds in such cases were ten noblemen 
or gentlemen to one policeman or cab-driver, 
it could make very little difference in point 
of excitement whether the policeman or cab- 
driver were a man or a block. The great 
advantage would be, that a policeman's limbs 
might be all knocked off, and yet he would be 
in a condition to do duty next day. He might 
even give his evidence next morning with 
his head in his hand, and give it equally well, 

of the Mudfog Association. 139 

" Professor Muff. — Will you allow me 
to ask you, sir, of what materials it is in- 
tended that the magistrates' heads shall be 
composed ? 

" Mr. Coppernose. — The magistrates will 
have wooden heads of course, and they 
will be made of the toughest and thickest 
materials that can possibly be obtained. 

" Professor Muff. — I am quite satisfied. 
This is a great invention. 

" Professor Nogo. — I see but one objec- 
tion to it. It appears to me that the magis- 
trates ought to talk. 

" Mr. Coppernose no sooner heard this 
suggestion than he touched a small spring in 
each of the two models of magistrates which 
were placed upon the table ; one of the 
figures immediately began to exclaim with 
great volubility that he was sorry to see 
gentlemen in such a situation, and the other 
to express a fear that the policeman was 

140 Report of the Second Meeting 

" The section, as with one accord, de- 
clared with a shout of applause that the 
invention was complete ; and the President, 
much excited, retired with Mr. Coppernose 
to lay it before the council. On his return, 

" Mr. Tickle displayed his newly-in- 
vented spectacles, which enabled the wearer 
to discern, in very bright colours, objects at 
a great distance, and rendered him wholly 
blind to those immediately before him. It 
was, he said, a most valuable and useful in- 
vention, based strictly upon the principle of 
the human eye. 

" The President required some informa- 
tion upon this point. He had yet to learn 
that the human eye was remarkable for the 
peculiarities of which the honourable gentle- 
man had spoken. 

" Mr. Tickle was rather astonished to 
hear this, when the President could not fail 
to be aware that a large number of most 
excellent persons and great statesmen could 

of the Mttdfog Association. 1 4 1 

see, with the naked eye, most marvellous 
horrors on West India plantations, while they 
could discern nothing whatever in the interior 
of Manchester cotton mills. He must know, 
too, with what quickness of perception most 
people could discover their neighbours faults, 
and how very blind they were to their own. 
If the President differed from the great 
majority of men in this respect, his eye was 
a defective one, and it was to assist his vision 
that these glasses were made. 

" Mr. Blank exhibited a model of a 
fashionable annual, composed of copper- 
plates, gold leaf, and silk boards, and worked 
entirely by milk and water. 

" Mr. Prosee, after examining the ma- 
chine, declared it to be so ingeniously com- 
posed, that he was wholly unable to discover 
how it went on at all. 

" Mr. Blank. — Nobody can, and that is 
the beauty of it. 

142 Report of the Second Meeting 
" Section C. — Anatomy and Medicine. 


President — Dr. Soemup. Vice-Presidents — Messrs. Pessell 
and Mortair. 

" Dr. Grummidge stated to the section a 

most interesting case of monomania, and 

described the course of treatment he had 

pursued with perfect success. The patient 

was a married lady in the middle rank of life, 

who, having seen another lady at an evening 

party in a full suit of pearls, was suddenly 

seized with a desire to possess a similar 

equipment, although her husband's finances 

were by no means equal to the necessary 

outlay. Finding her wish ungratified, she 

fell sick, and the symptoms soon became so 

alarming, that he (Dr. Grummidge) was 

called in. At this period the prominent 

tokens of the disorder were sullenness, a total 

indisposition to perform domestic duties, great 

peevishness, and extreme languor, except 

when pearls were mentioned, at which times 

of the Mtidfog Association. 143 

the pulse quickened, the eyes grew brighter, 
the pupils dilated, and the patient, after vari- 
ous incoherent exclamations, burst into a 
passion of tears, and exclaimed that nobody 
cared for her, and that she wished herself 
dead. Finding that the patient's appetite 
was affected in the presence of company, he 
began by ordering a total abstinence from all 
stimulants, and forbidding any sustenance but 
weak gruel ; he then took twenty ounces of 
blood, applied a blister under each ear, one 
upon the chest, and another on the back ; 
having done which, and administered five 
grains of calomel, he left the patient to her 
repose. The next day she was somewhat 
low, but decidedly better, and all appearances 
of irritation were removed. The next day 
she improved still further, and on the next 
again. On the fourth there was some 
appearance of a return of the old symptoms, 
which no sooner developed themselves, than 
he administered another dose of calomel, and 

144 Report of the Second Meeting 

left strict orders that, unless a decidedly 
favourable change occurred within two hours, 
the patient's head should be immediately 
shaved to the very last curl From that 
moment she began to mend, and, in less than 
four-and-twenty hours was perfectly restored. 
She did not now betray the least emotion at 
the sight or mention of pearls or any other 
ornaments. She was cheerful and good- 
humoured, and a most beneficial change had 
been effected in her whole temperament and 

"Mr. Pipkin (M.R.C.S.) read a short 
but most interesting communication in which 
he sought to prove the complete belief of 
Sir William Courtenay, otherwise Thorn, 
recently shot at Canterbury, in the Homoeo- 
pathic system. The section would bear in 
mind that one of the Homoeopathic doctrines 
was, that infinitesimal doses of any medicine 
which would occasion the disease under which 
the patient laboured, supposing him to be in 

of the Mudfog Association. 145 

a healthy state, would cure it. , Now, it was 
a remarkable circumstance — proved in the 
evidence — that the deceased Thorn employed 
a woman to follow him about all day with a 
pail of water, assuring her that one drop (a 
purely homoeopathic remedy, the section 
would observe), placed upon his tongue, after 
death, would restore him. What was the 
obvious inference ? That Thorn, who was 
marching and countermarching in osier beds, 
and other swampy places, was impressed with 
a presentiment that he should be drowned ; 
in which case, had his instructions been com- 
plied with, he could not fail to have been 
brought to life again instantly by his own 
prescription. As it was, if this woman, or 
any other person, had administered an infini- 
tesimal dose of lead and gunpowder imme- 
diately after he fell, he would have recovered 
forthwith. But unhappily the woman con- 
cerned did not possess the power of reason- 
ing by analogy, or carrying out a principle, 


146 Report of the Second Meeting 

and thus the unfortunate gentleman had been 
sacrificed to the ignorance of the peasantry. 

" Section D. — Statistics. 


President — Mr. Slug. Vice-Presidents — Messrs. Noakes 
and Styles. 

" Mr. Kwakley stated the result of some 
most ingenious statistical inquiries relative 
to the difference between the value of the 
qualification of several members of Parlia- 
ment as published to the world, and its real 
nature and amount. After reminding the 
section that every member of Parliament for 
a town or borough was supposed to possess a 
clear freehold estate of three hundred pounds 
per annum, the honourable gentleman ex- 
cited great amusement and laughter by 
stating the exact amount of freehold pro- 
perty possessed by a column of legislators, 
in which he had included himself. It ap- 
peared from this table, that the amount of 
such income possessed by each was o pounds, 

of the Mudfog Association. 147 

o shillings, and o pence, yielding an average 
of the same. (Great laughter.) It was 
pretty well known that there were accommo- 
dating gentlemen in the habit of furnishing 
new members with temporary qualifications, 
to the ownership of which they swore 
solemnly — of course as a mere matter of 
form. He argued from these data that it 
was wholly unnecessary for members of 
Parliament to possess any property at all, 
especially as when they had none the public 
could get them so much cheaper. 

"Supplementary Section, E. — Umbugology and 


President — Mr. Grub. Vice-Presidents — Messrs. Dull and 

? A paper was read by the secretary 
descriptive of a bay pony with one eye, which 
had been seen by the author standing in a 
butchers cart at the corner of Newgate 
Market. The communication described the 
author of the paper as having, in the prose- 

148 Report of the Second Meeting 

cution of a mercantile pursuit, betaken him- 
self one Saturday morning last summer from 
Somers Town to Cheapside ; in the course 
of which expedition he had beheld the 
extraordinary appearance above described. 
The pony had one distinct eye, and it had 
been pointed out to him by his friend Captain 
Blunderbore, of the Horse Marines, who 
assisted the author in his search, that when- 
ever he winked this eye he whisked his tail 
(possibly to drive the flies off), but that he 
always winked and whisked at the same time. 
The animal was lean, spavined, and tottering ; 
and the author proposed to constitute it of 
the family of Fitfordogsrneataurious. It cer- 
tainly did occur to him that there was no case 
on record of a pony with one clearly-defined 
and distinct organ of vision, winking and 
whisking at the same moment. 

" Mr. Q. J. Snuffletoffle had heard of 
a pony winking his eye, and likewise of a 
pony whisking his tail, but whether they were 

of the Mudfog Association. 149 

two ponies or the same pony he could not 
undertake positively to say. At all events, 
he was acquainted with no authenticated 
instance of a simultaneous winking and 
whisking, and he really could not but doubt 
the existence of such a marvellous pony in 
opposition to all those natural laws by which 
ponies were governed. Referring, however, 
to the mere question of his one organ of 
vision, might he suggest the possibility of 
this pony having been literally half asleep at 
the time he was seen, and having closed only 
one eye. 

" The President observed that, whether 
the pony was half asleep or fast asleep, there 
could be no doubt that the association was 
wide awake, and therefore that they had 
better get the business over, and go to dinner. 
He had certainly never seen anything analo- 
gous to this pony, but he was not prepared 
to doubt its existence ; for he had seen many 
queerer ponies in his time, though he did not 

150 Report of the Second Meeting 

pretend to have seen any more remarkable 
donkeys than the other gentlemen around 

"Professor John Ketch was then called 
upon to exhibit the skull of the late Mr. 
Greenacre, which he produced from a blue 
bag, remarking, on being invited to make any 
observations that occurred to him, ' that he'd 
pound it as that 'ere 'spectable section had 
never seed a more gamerer cove nor he vos.' 

" A most animated discussion upon this 
interesting relic ensued ; and, some difference 
of opinion arising respecting the real charac- 
ter of the deceased gentleman, Mr. Blubb 
delivered a lecture upon the cranium before 
him, clearly showing that Mr. Greenacre 
possessed the organ of destructiveness to a 
most unusual extent, with a most remarkable 
development of the organ of carveativeness. 
Sir Hookham Snivey w r as proceeding to 
combat this opinion, when Professor Ketch 
suddenly interrupted the proceedings by 

of the Mttdfog Association. 151 

exclaiming, with great excitement of manner, 
\ Walker ! ' 

" The President begged to call the 
learned gentleman to order. 

" Professor Ketch. ' Order be Mowed ! 
you've got the wrong un, I tell you. It ain't 
no e'd at all ; it's a coker-nut as my brother-in- 
law has been a-carvin', to hornament his new 
baked tatur-stall wots a-comin down 'ere vile 
the 'sociation's in the town. Hand over, vill 
you ? ' 

"With these words, Professor Ketch 
hastily repossessed himself of the cocoa-nut, 
and drew forth the skull, in mistake for which 
he had exhibited it. A most interesting con- 
versation ensued ; but as there appeared some 
doubt ultimately whether the skull was Mr. 
Greenacre's, or a hospital patient's, or a 
paupers, or a man's, or a woman's, or a 
monkey's, no particular result was obtained." 

" I cannot," says our talented correspon- 

152 Report of the Second Meeting *, etc. 

dent in conclusion, " I cannot close my 
account of these) gigantic researches and 
sublime and noble triumphs without repeating 
a bon mot of Professor Woodensconce's, which 
shows how the greatest minds may occasion- 
ally unbend when truth can be presented to 
listening ears, clothed in an attractive and 
playful form. I was standing by, when, after 
a week of feasting and feeding, that learned 
gentleman, accompanied by the whole body 
of wonderful men, entered the hall yesterday, 
where a sumptuous dinner was prepared ; 
where the richest wines sparkled on the 
board, and fat bucks — propitiatory sacrifices 
to learning — sent forth their savoury odours. 
* Ah ! ' said Professor Woodensconce, rubbing 
his hands, * this is what we meet for ; this is 
what inspires us ; this is what keeps us to- 
gether, and beckons us onward ; this is the 
spread of science, and a glorious spread it is/ ' 


Before we plunge headlong into this paper, 
let us at once confess to a fondness for panto- 
mimes — to a gentle sympathy with clowns 
and pantaloons — to an unqualified admira- 
tion of harlequins and columbines — to a 
chaste delight in every action of their brief 
existence, varied and many-coloured as those 
actions are, and inconsistent though they 
occasionally be with those rigid and formal 
rules of propriety which regulate the pro- 
ceedings of meaner and less comprehensive 
minds. We revel in pantomimes — not be- 
cause they dazzle one's eyes with tinsel and 
gold leaf; not because they present to us, 
once again, the well-beloved chalked faces, 
and goggle eyes of our childhood ; not even 
because, like Christmas-day, and Twelfth- 

154 The Pantomime of Life. 

night, and Shrove-Tuesday, and ones own 
birthday, they come to us but once a year ; 
— our attachment is founded on a graver and 
a very different reason. A pantomime is to 
us, a mirror of life ; nay more, we maintain 
that it is so to audiences generally, although 
they are not aware of it, and that this very 
circumstance is the secret cause of their 
amusement and delight. 

Let us take a slight example. The scene 
is a street : an elderly gentleman, with a large 
face and strongly marked features, appears. 
His countenance beams with a sunny smile, 
and a perpetual dimple is on his broad, red 
cheek. He is evidently an opulent elderly 
gentleman, comfortable in circumstances, and 
well-to-do in the world. He is not unmindful 
of the adornment of his person, for he is 
richly, not to say gaudily, dressed ; and that 
he indulges to a reasonable extent in the 
pleasures of the table may be inferred from 
the joyous and oily manner in which he rubs 

The Pantomime of Life. 155 

his stomach, by way of informing the audi- 
ence that he is £oin£ home to dinner. In 
the fulness of his heart, in the fancied secu- 
rity of wealth, in the possession and enjoy- 
ment of all the good things of life, the elderly 
gentleman suddenly loses his footing, and 
stumbles. How the audience roar ! He is 
set upon by a noisy and officious crowd, who 
buffet and cuff him unmercifully. They 
scream with delight ! Every time the elderly 
gentleman struggles to get up, his relentless 
persecutors knock him down again. The 
spectators are convulsed with merriment ! 
And when at last the elderly gentleman does 
get up, and staggers away, despoiled of hat, 
wig, and clothing, himself battered to pieces, 
and his watch and money gone, they are 
exhausted with laughter, and express their 
merriment and admiration in rounds of ap- 

Is this like life ? Change the scene to 
any real street ; — to the Stock Exchange, or 

156 The Pantomime of Life. 

the City bankers ; the merchant's counting- 
house, or even the tradesman's shop. See 
any one of these men fall, — the more sud- 
denly, and the nearer the zenith of his pride 
and riches, the better. What a wild hallo is 
raised over his prostrate carcase by the 
shouting mob ; how they whoop and yell as 
he lies humbled beneath them ! Mark how 
eagerly they set upon him when he is down ; 
and how they mock and deride him as he 
slinks away. Why, it is the pantomime to 
the very letter. 

Of all the pantomimic dramatis personce, 
we consider the pantaloon the most worthless 
and debauched. Independent of the dislike 
one naturally feels at seeing a gentleman of 
his years engaged in pursuits highly unbe- 
coming his gravity and time of life, we cannot 
conceal from ourselves the fact that he is a 
treacherous, worldly-minded old villain, con- 
stantly enticing his younger companion, the 
clown, into acts of fraud or petty larceny, and 

The Pantomime of Life. 157 

generally standing aside to watch the result 
of the enterprise. If it be successful, he 
never forgets to return for his share of the 
spoil ; but if it turn out a failure, he generally 
retires with remarkable caution and expedi- 
tion, and keeps carefully aloof until the affair 
has blown over. His amorous propensities, 
too, are eminently disagreeable ; and his 
mode of addressing ladies in the open street 
at noon-day is downright improper, being 
usually neither more nor less than a percep- 
tible tickling of the aforesaid ladies in the 
waist, after committing which, he starts back, 
manifestly ashamed (as well he may be) of 
his own indecorum and temerity ; continuing, 
nevertheless, to ogle and beckon to them 
from a distance in a very unpleasant and 
immoral manner. 

Is there any man who cannot count a 
dozen pantaloons in his own social circle ? 
Is there any man who has not seen them 
swarming at the west end of the town on a 

158 The Pantomime of Life. 

sunshiny day or a summer's evening, going 
through the last-named pantomimic feats with 
as much liquorish energy, and as total an 
absence of reserve, as if they were on the very 
stage itself ? We can tell upon our fingers 
a dozen pantaloons of our acquaintance at 
this moment — capital pantaloons, who have 
been performing all kinds of strange freaks, 
to the great amusement of their friends and 
acquaintance, for years past ; and who to this 
day are making such comical and ineffectual 
attempts to be young and dissolute, that all 
beholders are like to die with laughter. 

Take that old gentleman who has just 
emerged from the Cafd de F Europe in the 
Haymarket, where he has been dining at the 
expense of the young man upon town with 
whom he shakes hands as they part at the 
door of the tavern. The affected warmth of 
that shake of the hand, the courteous nod, 
the obvious recollection of the dinner, the 
savoury flavour of which still hangs upon his 

The Pantomime of Life. 159 

lips, are all characteristics of his great proto- 
type. He hobbles away humming an opera 
tune, and twirling his cane to and fro, with 
affected carelessness. Suddenly he stops — 
'tis at the milliner's window. He peeps 
through one of the large panes of glass ; 
and, his view of the ladies within being 
obstructed by the India shawls, directs his 
attentions to the young girl with the band- 
box in her hand, who is gazing in at the 
window also. See ! he draws beside her. 
He coughs; she turns away from him. He 
draws near her again ; she disregards him. 
He gleefully chucks her under the chin, and, 
retreating a few steps, nods and beckons 
with fantastic grimaces, while the girl be- 
stows a contemptuous and supercilious look 
upon his wrinkled visage. She turns away 
with a flounce, and the old gentleman trots 
after her with a toothless chuckle. The 
pantaloon to the life ! 

But the close resemblance which the 

160 The Pantomime of Life. 

clowns of the stage bear to those of every- 
day life is perfectly extraordinary. Some 
people talk with a sigh of the decline of 
pantomime, and murmur in low and dismal 
tones the name of Grimaldi. We mean no 
disparagement to the worthy and excellent 
old man when we say that this is downright 
nonsense. Clowns that beat Grimaldi all to 
nothing turn up every day, and nobody 
patronizes them — more's the pity ! 

11 I know who you mean," says some 
dirty-faced patron of Mr. Osbaldistone's, 
laying down the Miscellany when he has 
got thus far, and bestowing upon vacancy a 
most knowing glance ; " you mean C. J. Smith 
as did Guy Fawkes, and George Barnwell at 
the Garden." The dirty-faced gentleman 
has hardly uttered the words, when he is 
interrupted by a young gentleman in no shirt- 
collar and a Petersham coat. " No, no," says 
the young gentleman ; " he means Brown, 
King, and Gibson, at the 'Delphi." Now, 

The Pantomime of Life. 1 6 1 

with great deference both to the first-named 
gentleman with the dirty face, and the last- 
named gentleman in the non-existing shirt- 
collar, we do not mean either the performer 
who so grotesquely burlesqued the Popish 
conspirator, or the three unchangeables who 
have been dancing the same dance under 
different imposing titles, and doing the same 
thing under various high-sounding names for 
some five or six years last past. We have 
no sooner made this avowal, than the public, 
who have hitherto been silent witnesses of 
the dispute, inquire what on earth it is we 
do mean ; and, with becoming respect, we 
proceed to tell them. 

It is very well known to all playgoers 
and pantomime-seers, that the scenes in 
which a theatrical clown is at the very height 
of his glory are those which are described 
in the play-bills as " Cheesemonger's shop 
and Crockery warehouse/' or " Tailor's shop, 
and Mrs. Queertable's boarding-house," or 


1 62 The Pantomime of Life. 

places bearing some such title, where the 
great fun of the thing consists in the hero's 
taking lodgings which he has not the 
slightest intention of paying for, or obtaining 
goods under false pretences, or abstracting 
the stock-in-trade of the respectable shop- 
keeper next door, or robbing warehouse 
porters as they pass under his window, or, 
to shorten the catalogue, in his swindling 
everybody he possibly can, it only remaining 
to be observed that, the more extensive the 
swindling is, and the more barefaced the 
impudence of the swindler, the greater the 
rapture and ecstksy of the audience. Now 
it is a most remarkable fact that precisely this 
sort of thing occurs in real life day after day, 
and nobody sees the humour of it Let us 
illustrate our position by detailing the plot of 
this portion of the pantomime — not of the 
theatre, but of life. 

The Honourable Captain Fitz-Whisker 
Fiercy, attended by his livery servant Do'em 

The Pantomime of Life. 163 

— a most respectable servant to look at, who 
has grown grey in the service of the captain's 
family — views, treats for, and ultimately ob- 
tains possession of, the unfurnished house, 
such a number, such a street. All the trades- 
men in the neighbourhood are in agonies of 
competition for the captain's custom ; the 
captain is a good-natured, kind-hearted, easy 
man, and, to avoid being the cause of disap- 
pointment to any, he most handsomely gives 
orders to all. Hampers of wine, baskets of 
provisions, cart-loads of furniture, boxes of 
jewellery, supplies of luxuries of the costliest 
description, flock to the house of the Honour- 
able Captain Fitz-Whisker Fiercy, where 
they are received with the utmost readiness 
by the highly respectable Do'em ; while the 
captain himself struts and swaggers about 
with that compound air of conscious superi- 
ority and general blood-thirstiness which a 
military captain should always, and does most 
times, wear, to the admiration and terror of 

1 64 The Pantomime of Life. 

plebeian men. But the tradesmen's backs 
are no sooner turned, than the captain, with 
all the eccentricity of a mighty mind, and 
assisted by the faithful Do'em, whose devoted 
fidelity is not the least touching part of his 
character, disposes of everything to great 
advantage ; for, although the articles fetch 
small sums, still they are sold considerably 
above cost price, the cost to the captain 
having been nothing at all. After various 
manoeuvres, the imposture is discovered, 
Fitz-Fiercy and Do'em are recognized as con- 
federates, and the police office to which they 
are both taken is thronged with their dupes. 
Who can fail to recognise in this, the 
exact counterpart of the best portion of a 
theatrical pantomime — Fitz-Whisker Fiercy 
by the clown ; Do'em by the pantaloon ; and 
supernumeraries by the tradesmen ? The 
best of the joke, too, is, that the very coal- 
merchant who is loudest in his complaints 
against the person who defrauded him, is the 

The Pantomime of Life. 165 

identical man who sat in the centre of the 
very front row of the pit last night and 
laughed the most boisterously at this very 
same thing, — and not so well done either. 
Talk of Grimaldi, we say again ! Did 
Grimaldi, in his best days, ever do anything 
in this way equal to Da Costa ? 

The mention of this latter justly cele- 
brated clown reminds us of his last piece of 
humour, the fraudulently obtaining certain 
stamped acceptances from a young gentleman 
in the army. We had scarcely laid down our 
pen to contemplate for a few moments this 
admirable actor's performance of that ex 
quisite practical joke, than a new branch of 
our subject flashed suddenly upon us. So we 
take it up again at once. 

All people who have been behind the 
scenes, and most people who have been 
before them, know, that in the representation 
of a pantomime, a good many men are sent 
upon the stage for the express purpose of 

1 66 The Pantomime of Life. 

being cheated, or knocked down, or both. 
Now, down to a moment ago, we had never 
been able to understand for what possible 
purpose a great number of odd, lazy, large- 
headed men, whom one is in the habit of 
meeting here, and there, and everywhere, 
could ever have been created. We see it all, 
now. They are the supernumeraries in the 
pantomime of life ; the men who have been 
thrust into it, with no other view than to 
be constantly tumbling over each other, and 
running their heads against all sorts of 
strange things. We sat opposite to one of 
these men at a supper-table, only last week. 
Now we think of it, he was exactly like the 
gentlemen with the pasteboard heads and 
faces, who do the corresponding business in 
the theatrical pantomimes ; there was the 
same broad stolid simper — the same dull 
leaden eye — the same unmeaning, vacant 
stare ; and whatever was said, or whatever 
was done, he always came in at precisely the 

The Pantomime of Life. 167 

wrong place, or jostled against something that 
he had not the slightest business with. We 
looked at the man across the table again and 
again ; and could not satisfy ourselves what 
race of beings to class him with. How very 
odd that this never occurred to us before ! 

We will frankly own that we have been 
much troubled with the harlequin. We see 
harlequins of so many kinds in the real living 
pantomime, that we hardly know which to 
select as the proper fellow of him of the 
theatres. At one time we were disposed to 
think that the harlequin was neither more nor 
less than a young man of family and inde- 
pendent property, who had run away with an 
opera dancer, and was fooling his life and his 
means away in light and trivial amusements. 
On reflection, however, we remembered that 
harlequins are occasionally guilty of witty, 
and even clever acts, and we are rather dis- 
posed to acquit our young men of family and 
independent property, generally speaking, of 

1 68 The Pantomime of Life. 

any such misdemeanours. On a more mature 
consideration of the subject, we have arrived 
at the conclusion that the harlequins of life 
are just ordinary men, to be found in no par- 
ticular walk or degree, on whom a certain 
station, or particular conjunction of circum- 
stances, confers the magic wand. And this 
brings us to a few words on the pantomime 
of public and political life, which we shall say 
at once, and then conclude — merely premising 
in this place that we decline any reference 
whatever to the columbine, being in no wise 
satisfied of the nature of her connection with 
her parti-coloured lover, and not feeling by 
any means clear that we should be justified 
in introducing her to the virtuous and re- 
spectable ladies who peruse our lucubrations. 
We take it that the commencement of a 
Session of Parliament is neither more nor 
less than the drawing up of the curtain for 
a grand comic pantomime, and that his 
Majesty's most gracious speech on the open- 

The Pantomime of Life. 1 69 

ing thereof may be not inaptly compared to 
the clown's opening speech of " Here we 
are ! " " My lords and gentlemen, here we 
are ! " appears, to our mind at least, to be a 
very good abstract of the point and meaning 
of the propitiatory address of the ministry. 
When we remember how frequently this 
speech is made, immediately after the change 
too, the parallel is quite perfect, and still more 

Perhaps the cast of our political panto- 
mime never was richer than at this day. We 
are particularly strong in clowns. At no 
former time, we should say, have we had 
such astonishing tumblers, or performers so 
ready to go through the whole of their feats 
for the amusement of an admiring throng. 
Their extreme readiness to exhibit, indeed, 
has given rise to some ill-natured reflections ; 
it having been objected that by exhibiting 
gratuitously through the country when the 
theatre is closed, they reduce themselves to 

1 7° The Pantomime of Life. 

the level of mountebanks, and thereby tend 
to degrade the respectability of the profes- 
sion. Certainly Grimaldi never did this sort 
of thing ; and though Brown, King, and 
Gibson have gone to the Surrey in vacation 
time, and Mr. C. J. Smith has ruralised at 
Sadler's Wells, we find no theatrical prece- 
dent for a general tumbling through the 
country, except in the gentleman, name un- 
known, who threw summersets on behalf of 
the late Mr. Richardson, and who is no 
authority either, because he had never been 
on the regular boards. 

But, laying aside this question, which after 
all is a mere matter of taste, we may reflect 
with pride and gratification of heart on the 
proficiency of our clowns as exhibited in the 
season. Night after night will they twist and 
tumble about, till two, three, and four o'clock 
in the morning ; playing the strangest antics, 
and giving each other the funniest slaps on 
the face that can possibly be imagined, with- 

The Pantomime of Life. 171 

out evincing the smallest tokens of fatigue. 
The strange noises, the confusion, the shout- 
ing and roaring, amid which all this is done, 
too, would put to shame the most turbulent 
sixpenny gallery that ever yelled through a 

It is especially curious to behold one of 
these clowns compelled to go through the 
most surprising contortions by the irresistible 
influence of the wand of office, which his 
leader or harlequin holds above his head. 
Acted upon by this wonderful charm he will 
become perfectly motionless, moving neither 
hand, foot, nor finger, and will even lose the 
faculty of speech at an instant's notice ; or 
on the other hand, he will become all life and 
animation if required, pouring forth a torrent 
of words without sense or meaning, throwing 
himself into the wildest and most fantastic 
contortions, and even grovelling on the earth 
and licking up the dust. These exhibitions 
are more curious than pleasing ; indeed, they 

172 The Pantomime of Life. 

are rather disgusting than otherwise, except 
to the admirers of such things, with whom 
we confess we have no fellow-feeling. 

Strange tricks — very strange tricks — are 
also performed by the harlequin who holds 
for the time being the magic wand which we 
have just mentioned. The mere waving it 
before a mans eyes will dispossess his brains 
of all the notions previously stored there, 
and fill it with an entirely new set of ideas ; 
one gentle tap on the back will alter the 
colour of a man's coat completely ; and there 
are some expert performers, who, having 
this wand held first on one side and then on 
the other, will change from side to side, turn- 
ing their coats at every evolution, with so 
much rapidity and dexterity, that the quickest 
eye can scarcely detect their motions. Occa- 
sionally, the genius who confers the wand, 
wrests it from the hand of the temporary 
possessor, and consigns it to some new per- 
former ; on which occasions all the charac- 

The Pantomime of Life. 1 73 

ters change sides, and then the race and the 
hard knocks begin anew. 

We might have extended this chapter to 
a much greater length — we might have 
carried the comparison into the liberal pro- 
fessions — we might have shown, as was in 
fact our original purpose, that each is in 
itself a little pantomime with scenes and 
characters of its own, complete ; but, as we 
fear we have been quite lengthy enough 
already, we shall leave this chapter just 
where it is. A gentleman, not altogether 
unknown as a dramatic poet, wrote thus a 
year or two ago — 

" All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely players :" 

and we, tracking out his footsteps at the 
scarcely-worth-mentioning little distance of 
a few millions of leagues behind, venture to 
add, by way of new reading, that he meant a 
Pantomime, and that we are all actors in 
The Pantomime of Life. 


We have a great respect for lions in the 
abstract. In common with most other people, 
we have heard and read of many instances 
of their bravery and generosity. We have 
duly admired that heroic self-denial and 
charming philanthropy which prompts them 
never to eat people except when they are 
hungry, and we have been deeply impressed 
with a becoming sense of the politeness they 
are said to display towards unmarried ladies 
of a certain state. All natural histories teem 
with anecdotes illustrative of their excellent 
qualities ; and one old spelling book in par- 
ticular recounts a touching instance of an old 
lion, of high moral dignity and stern prin- 
ciple, who felt it his imperative duty to 

Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 175 

devour a young man who had contracted a 
habit of swearing, as a striking example to 
the rising generation. 

All this is extremely pleasant to reflect 
upon, and, indeed, says a very great deal in 
favour of lions as a mass. We are bound to 
state, however, that such individual lions as 
we have happened to fall in with have not 
put forth any very striking characteristics, 
and have not acted up to the chivalrous cha- 
racter assigned them by their chroniclers. 
We never saw a lion in what is called his 
natural state, certainly ; that is to say, we 
have never met a lion out walking in a forest, 
or crouching in his lair under a tropical sun, 
waiting till his dinner should happen to come 
by, hot from the baker's. But we have seen 
some under the influence of captivity, and the 
pressure of misfortune ; and we must say 
that they appeared to us very apathetic, 
heavy-headed fellows. 

The lion at the Zoological Gardens, for 

1 76 Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 

instance. He is all very well ; he has an 
undeniable mane, and looks very fierce ; but, 
Lord bless us ! what of that ? The lions of 
the fashionable world look just as ferocious, 
and are the most harmless creatures breath- 
ing. A box-lobby lion or a Regent-street 
animal will put on a most terrible aspect, and 
roar fearfully, if you affront him ; but he 
will never bite, and, if you offer to attack 
him manfully, will fairly turn tail and sneak 
off. Doubtless these creatures roam about 
sometimes in herds, and, if they meet any 
especially meek-looking and peaceably-dis- 
posed fellow, will endeavour to frighten him ; 
but the faintest show of a vigorous resistance 
is sufficient to scare them even then. These 
are pleasant characteristics, whereas we make 
it matter of distinct charge against the Zoo- 
logical lion and his brethren at the fairs, that 
they are sleepy, dreamy, sluggish quadru- 

We do not remember to have ever seen 

Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 177 

one of them perfectly awake, except at feed- 
ing-time. In every respect we uphold the 
biped lions against their four-footed name- 
sakes, and we boldly challenge controversy 
upon the subject. 

With these opinions it may be easily 
imagined that our curiosity and interest were 
very much excited the other day, when a 
lady of our acquaintance called on us and 
resolutely declined to accept our refusal of 
her invitation to an evening party; "for," 
said she, " I have got a lion coming." We 
at once retracted our plea of a prior engage- 
ment, and became as anxious to go, as we 
had previously been to stay away. 

We went early, and posted ourselves in 
an eligible part of the drawing-room, from 
whence we could hope to obtain a full view 
of the interesting animal. Two or three 
hours passed, the quadrilles began, the room 
filled ; but no lion appeared. The lady of 
the house became inconsolable, — for it is one 


178 Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 

of the peculiar privileges of these lions to 
make solemn appointments and never keep 
them, —when all of a sudden there came a 
tremendous double rap at the street door, 
and the master of the house, after gliding 
out (unobserved as he flattered himself) to 
peep over the banisters, came into the room, 
rubbing his hands together with great glee, 
and cried out in a very important voice, 

" My dear, Mr. (naming the lion) has 

this moment arrived." 

Upon this, all eyes were turned towards 
the door, and we observed several young 
ladies, who had been laughing and convers- 
ing previously with great gaiety and good 
humour, grow extremely quiet and senti- 
mental ; while some young gentlemen, who 
had been cutting great figures in the facetious 
and small-talk way, suddenly sank very 
obviously in the estimation of the company, 
and were looked upon with great coldness 
and indifference. Even the young man who 

Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 179 

had been ordered from the music shop to 
play the pianoforte was visibly affected, and 
struck several false notes in the excess of his 

All this time there was a great talking 
outside, more than once accompanied by a 
loud laugh, and a cry of " Oh ! capital ! ex- 
cellent ! " from which we inferred that the lion 
was jocose, and that these exclamations w T ere 
occasioned by the transports of his keeper 
and our host. Nor were we deceived ; for 
when the lion at last appeared, we overheard 
his keeper, who was a little prim man, whis- 
per to several gentlemen of his acquaintance, 
with uplifted hands, and every expression of 

half-suppressed admiration, that (naming 

the lion again) was in such cue to-night ! 

The lion was a literary one. Of course, 
there were a vast number of people present 
who had admired his roarings, and were 
anxious to be introduced to him ; and very 
pleasant it was to see them brought up for 

1 80 Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 

the purpose, and to observe the patient dig- 
nity with which he received all their patting 
and caressing. This brought forcibly to our 
mind what we had so often witnessed at 
country fairs, where the other lions are com- 
pelled to go through as many forms of cour- 
tesy as they chance to be acquainted with, 
just as often as admiring parties happen to 
drop in upon them. 

While the lion was exhibiting in this 
way, his keeper was not idle, for he mingled 
among the crowd, and spread his praises 
most industriously. To one gentleman he 
whispered some very choice thing that the 
noble animal had said in the very act of 
coming up stairs, which, of course, rendered 
the mental effort still more astonishing; to 
another he murmured a hasty account of a 
grand dinner that had taken place the day 
before, where twenty-seven gentlemen had 
got up all at once to demand an extra cheer 
for the lion ; and to the ladies he made 

Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 181 

sundry promises of interceding to procure 
the majestic brute's sign-manual for their 
albums. Then, there were little private con- 
sultations in different corners, relative to the 
personal appearance and stature of the lion ; 
whether he was shorter than they had ex- 
pected to see him, or taller, or thinner, or 
fatter, or younger, or older ; whether he was 
like his portrait, or unlike it ; and whether 
the particular shade of his eyes was black, or 
blue, or hazel, or green, or yellow, or mixture. 
At all these consultations the keeper assisted ; 
and, in short, the lion was the sole and single 
subject of discussion till they sat him down 
to whist, and then the people relapsed into 
their old topics of conversation — themselves 
and each other. 

We must confess that we looked forward 
with no slight impatience to the announce- 
ment of supper ; for if you wish to see a 
tame lion under particularly favourable cir- 
cumstances, feeding-time is the period of all 

1 82 Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 

others to pitch upon. We were therefore 
very much delighted to observe a sensation 
among the guests, which we well knew how 
to interpret, and immediately afterwards to 
behold the lion escorting the lady of the 
house downstairs. We offered our arm to an 
elderly female of our acquaintance, who — 
dear old soul ! — is the very best person that 
ever lived, to lead down to any meal ; for, be 
the room ever so small, or the party ever so 
large, she is sure, by some intuitive perception 
of the eligible, to push and pull herself 
and conductor close to the best dishes on the 
table ; — we say we offered our arm to this 
elderly female, and, descending the stairs 
shortly after the lion, were fortunate enough 
to obtain a seat nearly opposite him. 

Of course the keeper was there already. 
He had planted himself at precisely that dis- 
tance from his charge which afforded him a 
decent pretext for raising his voice, when he 
addressed him, to so loud a key, as could not 

Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 183 

fail to attract the attention of the whole com- 
pany, and immediately began to apply himself 
seriously to the task of bringing the lion out, 
and putting him through the whole of his 
manoeuvres. Such flashes of wit as he 
elicited from the lion ! First of all, they 
began to make puns upon a salt-cellar, and 
then upon the breast of a fowl, and then upon 
the trifle ; but the best jokes of all were 
decidedly on the lobster salad, upon which 
latter subject the lion came out most vigor- 
ously, and, in the opinion of the most com- 
petent authorities, quite outshone himself. 
This is a very excellent mode of shining in 
society, and is founded, we humbly conceive, 
upon the classic model of the dialogues 
between Mr. Punch and his friend the pro- 
prietor, wherein the latter takes all the up- 
hill work, and is content to pioneer to the 
jokes and repartees of Mr. P. himself, who 
never fails to gain great credit and excite 
much laughter thereby. Whatever it be 

1 84 Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 

founded on, however, we recommend it to 
all lions, present and to come ; for in this 
instance it succeeded to admiration, and 
perfectly dazzled the whole body of hearers. 

When the salt-cellar, and the fowl's breast, 
and the trifle, and the lobster salad were all 
exhausted, and could not afford standing 
room for another solitary witticism, the 
keeper performed that very dangerous feat 
which is still done with some of the caravan 
lions, although in one instance it terminated 
fatally, of putting his head in the animal's 
mouth, and placing himself entirely at its 
mercy. Boswell frequently presents a 
melancholy instance of the lamentable results 
of this achievement, and other keepers and 
jackals have been terribly lacerated for their 
daring. It is due to our lion to state, that 
he condesended to be trifled with, in the 
most gentle manner, and finally went home 
with the showman in a hack cab : perfectly 
peaceable, but slightly fuddled. 

Some Particulars Concerning a Lion, 185 

Being in a contemplative mood, we were 
led to make some reflections upon the cha- 
racter and conduct of this genus of lions as 
we walked homewards, and we were not long 
in arriving at the conclusion that our former 
impression in their favour was very much 
strengthened and confirmed by what we had 
recently seen. While the other lions receive 
company and compliments in a sullen, moody, 
not to say snarling manner, these appear 
flattered by the attentions that are paid 
them ; while those conceal themselves to the 
utmost of their power from the vulgar gaze, 
these court the popular eye, and, unlike their 
brethren, whom nothing short of compulsion 
will move to exertion, are ever ready to dis- 
play their acquirements to the wondering 
throng. We have known bears of undoubted 
ability who, when the expectations of a large 
audience have been wound up to the utmost 
pitch, have peremptorily refused to dance ; 
well- taught monkeys, who have unaccount- 

1 86 Some Particulars Concerning a Lion. 

ably objected to exhibit on the slack wire ; 
and elephants of unquestioned genius, who 
have suddenly declined to turn the barrel- 
organ ; but we never once knew or heard of 
a biped lion, literary or otherwise,— and we 
state it as a fact which is highly creditable to 
the whole species, — who, occasion offering, 
did not seize with avidity on any opportunity 
which was afforded him, of performing to 
his heart's content on the first violin. 



In the parlour of the Green Dragon, a pub- 
lic-house in the immediate neighbourhood of 
Westminster Bridge, everybody talks politics, 
every evening, the great political authority 
being Mr. Robert Bolton, an individual who 
defines himself as " a gentleman connected 
with the press," which is a definition of pecu- 
liar indefiniteness. Mr. Robert Bolton's 
regular circle of admirers and listeners are 
an undertaker, a greengrocer, a hair-dresser, 
a baker, a large stomach surmounted by a 
man's head, and placed on the top of two 
particularly short legs, and a thin man in 
black, name, profession, and pursuit unknown, 

Mi\ Robert Bolton. 

who always sits in the same position, always 
displays the same long, vacant face, and never 
opens his lips, surrounded as he is by most 
enthusiastic conversation, except to puff forth 
a volume of tobacco smoke, or give vent to 
a very snappy, loud, and shrill hem ! The 
conversation sometimes turns upon literature, 
Mr. Bolton being a literary character, and 
always upon such news of the day as is 
exclusively possessed by that talented indi- 
vidual. I found myself (of course, accident- 
ally) in the Green Dragon the other evening, 
and, being somew T hat amused by the following 
conversation, preserved it. 

" Can you lend me a ten pound note 
till Christmas ? " inquired the hair-dresser of 
the stomach. 

" Where's your security, Mr. Clip ? " 
" My stock in trade, — there's enough of 
it, I'm thinking, Mr. Thicknesse. Some fifty 
wigs, two poles, half-a-dozen head blocks, and 
a dead Bruin/' 

Mr. Robert Bolton. 189 

" No, I wont, then," growled out Thick- 
nesse. " I lends nothing on the security 
of the whigs or the Poles either. As for 
whigs, they're cheats ; as for the Poles, 
they've got no cash. I never have nothing 
to do with blockheads, unless I can't awoid 
it (ironically), and a dead bears about as 
much use to me as I could be to a dead bear." 

" Well, then," urged the other, " there's a 
book as belonged to Pope, Byron's Poems, 
valued at forty pounds, because it's got Pope's 
identical scratch on the back ; what do you 
think of that for security ? " 

" Well, to be sure ! " cried the baker. 
" But how d'ye mean, Mr. Clip ? " 

11 Mean ! why, that it's got the hotter gruff 
of Pope. 

" Steal not this book, for fear of hangman's rope ; 
For it belongs to Alexander Pope." 

All that's written on the inside of the binding 
of the book ; so, as my son says, we're boitnd 
to believe it." 


190 Mr. Robert Bolton. 

"Well, sir," observed the undertaker, 
deferentially, and in a half-whisper, leaning 
over the table, and knocking over the hair- 
dresser's grog as he spoke, " that argument's 
very easy upset." 

" Perhaps, sir," said Clip, a little flurried, 
" you'll pay for the first upset afore you thinks 
of another." 

" Now," said the undertaker, bowing 
amicably to the hairdresser, " I think, I says 
I think — you'll excuse me, Mr. Clip, I think, 
you see, that won't go down with the present 
company — unfortunately, my master had the 
honour of making the coffin of that ere Lord's 
housemaid, not no more nor twenty year ago. 
Don't think I'm proud on it, gentlemen ; 
others might be ; but I hate rank of any sort. 
I've no more respect for a Lord's footman 
than I have for any respectable tradesman in 
this room. I may say no more nor I have 
for Mr. Clip ! (bowing). Therefore, that ere 
Lord must have been born long after Pope 

Mr. Robert Bolton. 191 

died. And it's a logical interferance to defer, 
that they neither of them lived at the same 
time. So what I mean is this here, that 
Pope never had no book, never seed, felt, 
never smelt no book (triumphantly) as be- 
longed to that ere Lord. And, gentlemen, 
when I consider how patiently you have 
'eared the ideas what I have expressed, I feel 
bound, as the best way to reward you for the 
kindness you have exhibited, to sit down 
without saying anything more — partickler as 
I perceive a worthier visitor nor myself is 
just entered. I am not in the habit of pay- 
ing compliments, gentlemen ; when I do, 
therefore, I hope I strikes with double 

" Ah, Mr. Murgatroyd ! what's all this 
about striking with double force ? " said the 
object of the above remark, as he entered. 
" I never excuse a man's getting into a rage 
during winter, even when he's seated so close 
to the fire as you are. It is very inju- 

192 Mr. Robert Bolton. 

dicious to put yourself into such a per- 
spiration. What is the cause of this 
extreme physical and mental excitement, 
sir ? " 

Such was the very philosophical address 
of Mr. Robert Bolton, a shorthand- writer, as 
he termed himself — a bit of equivoque pass- 
ing current among his fraternity, which must 
give the uninitiated a vast idea of the establish- 
ment of the ministerial organ, while to the 
initiated it signifies that no one paper can lay 
claim to the enjoyment of their services. 
Mr. Bolton was a young man, with a some- 
what sickly and very dissipated expression of 
countenance. His habiliments were composed 
of an exquisite union of gentility, slovenli- 
ness, assumption, simplicity, newness, and old 
age. Half of him was dressed for the win- 
ter, the other half for the summer. His hat 
was of the newest cut, the D'Orsay ; his 
trousers had been white, but the inroads of 
mud and ink, etc., had given them a piebald 

Mr, Robert Bolton. 193 

appearance ; round his throat he wore a very 
high black cravat, of the most tyrannical 
stiffness ; while his tout ensemble was hidden 
beneath the enormous folds of an old brown 
poodle-collared great coat, which was closely 
buttoned up to the aforesaid cravat. His 
fingers peeped through the ends of his black 
kid gloves, and two of the toes of each foot 
took a similar view of society through the 
extremities of his high-lows. Sacred to the 
bare walls of his garret be the mysteries of 
his interior dress ! He was a short, spare 
man, of a somewhat inferior deportment. 
Everybody seemed influenced by his entry 
into the room, and his salutation of each 
member partook of the patronizing. The 
hairdresser made way for him between him- 
self and the stomach. A minute afterwards 
he had taken possession of his pint and pipe. 
A pause in the conversation took place. 
Everybody was waiting, anxious for his first 

194 Mr. Robert Bolton. 

" Horrid murder in Westminster this 
morning," observed Mr. Bolton. 

Everybody changed their positions. All 
eyes were fixed upon the man of paragraphs. 

"A baker murdered his son by boiling 
him in a copper," said Mr. Bolton. 

" Good heavens ! " exclaimed everybody, 
in simultaneous horror. 

" Boiled him, gentlemen ! " added Mr. 
Bolton, with the most effective emphasis ; 
" boiled him ! " 

" And the particulars, Mr. B.," inquired 
the hairdresser, " the particulars ? " 

Mr. Bolton took a very long draught of 
porter, and some two or three dozen whiffs of 
tobacco, doubtless to instil into the commer- 
cial capacities of the company the superiority 
of a gentleman connected with the press, and 
then said — 

" The man was a baker, gentlemen. 
(Every one looked at the baker present, who 
stared at Bolton.) His victim, being his son, 

Mr. Robert Bolton. 195 

also was necessarily the son of a baker. The 
wretched murderer had a wife, whom he was 
frequently in the habit, while in an intoxicated 
state, of kicking, pummelling-, flinging mugs 
at, knocking down, and half-killing while in 
bed, by inserting in her mouth a considerable 
portion of a sheet or blanket." 

The speaker took another draught, every- 
body looked at everybody else, and exclaimed, 
" Horrid ! " 

"It appears in evidence, gentlemen/' con- 
tinued Mr. Bolton, " that, on the evening of 
yesterday, Sawyer the baker came home in a 
reprehensible state of beer. Mrs. S., con- 
nubially considerate, carried him in that con- 
dition upstairs into his chamber, and consigned 
him to their mutual couch. In a minute or 
two she lay sleeping beside the man whom 
the morrow's dawn beheld a murderer ! 
(Entire silence informed the reporter that his 
picture had attained the awful effect he de- 
sired.) The son came home about an hour 

196 Mr. Robert Bolton. 

afterwards, opened the door, and went up to 
bed. Scarcely (gentlemen, conceive his feel- 
ings of alarm), scarcely had he taken off his 
indescribables, when shrieks (to his experi- 
enced ear maternal shrieks) scared the silence 
of surrounding night. He put his indescrib- 
ables on again, and ran downstairs. He 
opened the door of the parental bed-chamber. 
His father was dancing upon his mother. 
What must have been his feelings ! In the 
agony of the minute he rushed at his male 
parent as he was about to plunge a knife 
into the side of his female. The mother 
shrieked. The father caught the son (who 
had wrested the knife from the paternal 
grasp) up in his arms, carried him downstairs, 
shoved him into a copper of boiling water 
among some linen, closed the lid, and jumped 
upon the top of it, in which position he was 
found with a ferocious countenance by the 
mother, who arrived in the melancholy wash- 
house just as he had so settled himself. 

Mr. Robert Bolton. 197 

" ' Where's my boy ? ' shrieked the 

"'In that copper, boiling/ coolly replied 
the benign father. 

" Struck by the awful intelligence, the 
mother rushed from the house, and alarmed 
the neighbourhood. The police entered a 
minute afterwards. The father, having bolted 
the wash-house door, had bolted himself. 
They dragged the lifeless body of the boiled 
baker from the cauldron, and, with a promp- 
titude commendable in men of their station, 
they immediately carried it to the station- 
house. Subsequently, the baker was appre- 
hended while seated on the top of a lamp- 
post in Parliament Street, lighting his pipe." 

The whole horrible ideality of the Mys- 
teries of Udolpho, condensed into the pithy 
effect of a ten-line paragraph, could not pos- 
sibly have so affected the narrators auditory. 
Silence, the purest and most noble of all kinds 
of applause, bore ample testimony to the 

198 Mr. Robert Bolton. 

barbarity of the baker, as well as to Bolton's 
knack of narration ; and it was only broken 
after some minutes had elapsed by interjeo 
tional expressions of the intense indignation 
of every man present. The baker wondered 
how a British baker could so disgrace himself 
and the highly honourable calling to which 
he belonged ; and the others indulged in a 
variety of wonderments connected with the 
subject ; among which not the least wonder- 
ment w r as that which was awakened by the 
genius and information of Mr. Robert Bolton, 
who, after a glowing eulogium on himself, and 
his unspeakable influence with the daily press, 
was proceeding, with a most solemn counte- 
nance, to hear the pros and cons of the Pope 
autograph question, when I took up my hat, 
and left. 


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